The Sensuous Christian

sen·su·ous

Adjective

  1. Relating to or affecting the senses rather than the intellect.

Here is a quote that has been popping up in the Christian blogosphere lately – I’ve decided to share it too, because it has given me so much to think about.

It’s a passage from a book by R.C Sproul called Knowing Scripture, and he writes:

“I have often been tempted to write a book by the title, The sensuous Christian.”

What is the sensuous Christian?

“The sensuous Christian is one who lives by his feelings rather than through his understanding of the Word of God. The sensuous Christian cannot be moved to service, prayer or study unless he ‘feels like it.’ His Christian life is only as effective as the intensity of present feelings. When he experiences spiritual euphoria, he is a whirlwind of Godly activity; when he is depressed, he is a spiritual incompetent. He constantly seeks new and fresh spiritual experiences and uses them to determine the Word of God. His ‘inner feelings’ become the ultimate test of truth.”

“The sensuous Christian goes his merry way until he encounters the pain of life that is not so merry and he folds. He usually ends up embracing a kind of ‘relational theology’ (that most dreadful curse on modern Christianity) where personal relationships and experience take precedence over the Word of God. If the scripture calls us to action that may jeopardize a personal relationship, then the scripture must be compromised. The highest law of the sensuous Christian is that bad feelings must be avoided at all cost.” (R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture, pp. 26-27). 

I won’t dilute this with my own comments, except to say that I am ashamed to find that I bear more than a passing resemblance to Sproul’s description.

Do you?

How might we change, or respond to this?

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One response

  1. We’ve got to, through much prayer and study, grow beyond the one sided contentment with spirituality alone, embrace the equally biblical mandate of critical thinking and, ultimately, reach the balance that should define each Christian. By the grace of God. Sweet, sweet sanctification. Thank God for the promise of Romans 8:29,30, right?

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