Too often the challenge for mainline pastors, and one of the reasons churches began to be cautious about an educated clergy, is allowing our education to diminish our passion. When you focus on the intellect, and you devote yourself to study, there is a tendency to become a bit more broadminded, but often this comes at the expense of conviction and passion. It is important that we not let this happen. We cannot afford to have a “reasonless” Christianity, but neither can we afford a passionless one. (p53)
In a chapter in which he discusses Pentecostalism, and tries to make the case that Christians shouldn’t separate too easily the line of reason and passion.I am not sure that the loss of passion is always the reason that congregants tend to shy away from an educated clergy, however. For many, I suspect it is because those educated clergy tend to stomp upon the personal piety of the church goers…
In our discussion group, we spoke about speaking in tongues, being ‘slain in the spirit’, and feeling the presence of God. I might have lost all credibility of reason when I spoke to these things from a personal experience. While I do tend to favor the intellect, and would prefer to be reasonable, there are experiences that I cherish and continue to participate in.
I don’t let them get out of hand, and I don’t really share them with anyone, so whatever you do, don’t tell a soul.
But the question is, is how do we acknowledge the passion and personal experiences will maintaining Reason? Or, inject Intellect into the passionate?
By the way, Wesley was considered a “Reasonable Enthusiast“.