There are those who believe that the primary focus for Christians ought to be personal experience. We experience our relationship with Christ and in that experience we get to know him better. There are others who believe that the primary focus ought to be knowledge. After all, it is impossible to experience what we do not know.
But the simple fact is, it is impossible to fully experience the Christian life without emphasizing both. They are like two sides of the same coin. Without experience we cannot interact on a personal level with Christ. Without knowledge we will very likely interact wrongly, or at least at a very shallow level.
Every individual, group and denomination tends to have a particular emphasis. For some the emphasis is prayer or evangelism or discipleship or Bible study or worship, … – you get the idea. To be clear, none of these emphases are a bad thing. But in promoting our own special emphasis, we must be very careful that something of equal importance is not left out of the mix.
Another danger is that many not only especially promote their own emphasis, but at the same time minimize the emphasis of others. Even when this is not stated overtly, there is often an attitude that “I am more spiritual than others because my emphasis is best.”
But the truth is, any time we downplay any emphasis that is not our favorite, we don’t simply belittle the ones we are putting down, we belittle ourselves. That is because we are called by God to excellence, not to incompleteness. We need to lift both our experience and our knowledge to ever higher levels.
When our personal experience (our personal interaction with God – prayer, meditation, worship) is deficient, we neglect the very reason God created us in the first place. It is very easy to allow our great learning to be totally impersonal. But God desires fellowship with us at the deepest level.
By the same token, when our knowledge base is lacking (lack of understanding about the Bible, Christian theology, evangelism skills, etc.), our experience cannot help but be very shallow. It is shocking how little knowledge of God and the Bible exists in our churches – even among the most “spiritual” people in the church. This does not mean they don’t love God, only that their worship is incomplete.
A solid understanding of worldview will force an emphasis in both of these critical areas. It provides us the knowledge base to truly know the God with whom we want to interact. This, then, provides the motivation to actually interact with him. Take advantage of the many resources you will find on the MarketFaith Ministries website to enhance both your knowledge and your experience. You owe it to God and to yourself to strengthen every area that touches your faith life. Also, you are invited to call and invite us to come to you and provide special Christian worldview training at your church. Please feel free to contact us any time.