Tim Challies thought it was his duty to defend the truth and that meant taking down Ann Voskamp. He ends up calling into question the Bible’s mysticism, the church’s mystics, and those in his own circle. Challies went too far this time.
Ann Voskamp, in grace and gratitude, offers a brief reminder that Challies’ heroes affirm what she affirms. She meets her critics with grace and gratitude. As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount.
Piper urges the reading of the Catholic Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, and specifically writes that this is one of Chesterton’s gems to mine for: “Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health. When you destroy mystery you create morbidity.”…
Piper writes of Joshua “who loved the glory of God! He was a kind of warrior mystic. He loved the mountain and the tent. He loved nature and church. He had a heart for God. Wherever he smelled the aroma of God he lingered.” And Piper asks where are the warrior mystics? ”Where are the Joshuas? The warrior mystics of Bethlehem—the men and women whose hearts are aflame with the conquest and who linger at the tent? Where are the men and women whose knees are as calloused as their hands?”
I don’t read “mystics,” I don’t know what the word precisely means, don’t write or speak or own that word, don’t know of mystics or mysticism— but only of Christ and His Word and the Cross and real reality — but of Piper’s call to be a warrior mystic? To have a heart for God and have knees as calloused as hands? I pray I know this. Mama and I, we join together and pray for a ninety-one year old woman in a hospital bed. Hearts might be aflame for everything right….
Timothy Keller writes, “Positively, we are called to experience the spousal love of Jesus.”
I once was invited to sit across the table and break bread with Gene Edward Veith, provost of Patrick Henry College and noted author with Crossway, and with Marvin Olasky, editor of WORLD Magazine. When they brought up the subject of the last chapter of One Thousand Gifts, of ” God as Husband in sacred wedlock” my hand trembled so, my fork dropped to the floor. There are things so hallowed and personal and true, it’s hard for the quiet to hear them out loud. The farm girl had fumbled for her fork under the table.
And they waited until my heart stilled, waited until I looked up, waited until my hand stopped its shy, awkward quake. And in a soft and certain voice, Mr. Veith looked me in the eye and assured “It is profoundly biblical.” I nodded, chin trembling, eyes dropping away. And Mr. Olasky encouraged me to change nothing, to stand by Scriptural truth.
Sometimes standing by Scriptural truth can feel a bit like surviving a heart attack.
But what can feel like the exploding of your heart might be the way Truth slams out of your chest like a fireworks of grace.