There is a reason why a book like Jerry Bridges’ The Blessing of Humility matters so much. The depth of personal spirituality represented here is not in our DNA. We must rediscover it afresh in every generation, and it is not easy to learn and not easy to retain. As a result, we are always one generation away from losing the personal tenderness of heart that Jerry Bridges and his generation, at their best, represented. We are always one generation away from drifting into theologically sound, hard-hearted pride, which then positions the next generation for drifting into theologically unsound, hard-hearted pride, which then positions the next generation for apostasy, judgment and destruction.
Right now we who identify with THE GOSPEL COALITION are experiencing a theological resurgence. God is helping us all to recover the wonderful doctrines of justification by faith alone, substitution, imputation, union with Christ, and other truths clustered around the grace of God in the gospel. This resurgence is, for me, greatly encouraging. But doctrinal recovery alone is not enough. We need personal revival too. We need our hearts subdued to Christ and reinvigorated by Christ and alive to Christ. We need the best spirituality as well as the best theology, for the blessing to continue.
Through books like The Blessing of Humility – and I am currently re-reading True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer — we are allowed into the personal depths of older saints who understood true doctrine and also lived in sincere humility and thus experienced personal reality with the living God. Only this convergence of powers — the theological with the personal — constitutes the biblical Christianity we must pass on to the rising generation.
Ray Ortlund blogs at CHRIST IS DEEPER STILL at THE GOSPEL COALITION.