by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
To see life steadily and see it whole
... The whole idea of man as an economic unit is based upon ... fallacy; ... they only see one aspect; ... the trouble with all these theories is that they are looking at only one side, one aspect, and so their solutions are partial and incomplete. What they are forgetting ... is life itself. They are forgetting the sensibilities, and such factors as emotion.... "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." ... That is how Shakespeare put it.
I am not sure that Browning did not say it even better.... You remember the interview between the old Bishop and the young journalist who had become dissatisfied with the Christian religion [in Bishop Bloughram's Apology]! The young man was going to think life right through. He was going to break with everything he had been taught in the past; he was going to think things through for himself and make a new philosophy: The old Bishop said, in effect: Do you know, I was once a young man and I did exactly the same thing. I thought I had a perfect understanding, I assembled all the component parts, I had a complete scheme and philosophy of life, I thought nothing could upset it; but— Just when we think, to use the modern jargon, we have the whole of life "taped," just when we think our philosophy is perfect,
Just when we are safest, there's a sunset-touch,
A fancy from a flower-bell, someone's death,
A chorus-ending from Euripides—
And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears ...
The grand Perhaps.
You see what Browning means. With our rational mind we draw up our plan of life and think we can explain everything and that we have catered for everything. But just when we have done so, ... we see a sunset, a glorious, golden sunset that moves us to the very depth of our being in a manner we cannot explain.... There is a mystery about it which we cannot fathom.... There is something else after all, beyond, above, behind all we can understand.
Faith on Trial, pp. 47-8
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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