Which are you more likely to hear an evangelical talk about on social media these days—the culture wars (or critiques of fellow Christians culture-warring) or the glorious privilege of communion and fellowship with the triune God?
J. I. Packer lamented over 30 years ago that evangelicals talk together about almost everything except this great reality, and he reminded us that this was not true for the Puritans.
When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology—but rarely of their daily experience of God.
Modern Christian books and magazines contain much about Christian doctrine, Christian standards, problems of Christian conduct, techniques of Christian service—but little about the inner realities of fellowship with God.
Our sermons contain much sound doctrine—but little relating to the converse between the soul and the Savior.
We do not spend much time, alone or together, in dwelling on the wonder of the fact that God and sinners have communion at all; no, we just take that for granted, and give our minds to other matters.
Thus we make it plain that communion with God is a small thing to us.
But how different were the Puritans! The whole aim of their “practical and experimental” preaching and writing was to explore the reaches of the doctrine and practice of man’s communion with God.
Fellow evangelicals: how are we doing on this?
Perhaps it is time to give this a read and make Packer’s observation passé.