Timmy Brister writes:

Growing up, I was trained to think the way Christians grow is from experience to experience. Church services were the weekly “experiences” intended to give you the fuel you need to “make it through the week.” Youth camps where the “mountain top” experience where you “rededicated” your life to live more wholeheartedly for God. In just about every aspect experience was presented as the next step for spiritual growth.

Another approach to Christian growth, opposite of experience (or mysticism), is the increase of knowledge. The idea is that those who know the most are the most mature and most godly people around. When someone displays their ability to answer deep questions, we assume they must know God. They must really far in their walk with Christ. The outcome of this approach is that advancement in the Christian life is measured by the amount that one knows intellectually.

These camps of rationalism and mysticism are both right and wrong at the same time. They are right in that it is necessary that we know God, both intellectually and experientially. They are wrong in that they equate spiritual growth by experience and knowledge. The Bible critiques both views with the gospel. We grow in the Christian faith the same way we entered into the Christian faith–by repentance and faith.

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Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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