Something else I learned from my dad
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Our doctrines are lenses through which we see Christ. The clearer the lens, the more vivid the view. All Bible-believing denominations grind their doctrinal lenses with a desire to see Christ faithfully, but there are various grades of fineness and clarity in the different lenses.
We have Christ, who reveals himself to his entire Body; we have doctrinal lenses, which tend to be denomination-specific; and we also have eyes, our own personal capacity for spiritual sight.
That makes doctrine important. It also makes personal purity important. The way it nets out, the Christians with less clear doctrinal formulation might behold Christ’s glory more wonderfully, and the Christians with more clear doctrinal formulation might behold his glory less wonderfully. The ideal, of course, is clear doctrinal lenses and clear spiritual sight together. And when that grace is given to many people together at once, it starts feeling like revival. But no amount of lens-grinding can offset personal darkness in our very eyes.
In “A Divine and Supernatural Light,” Jonathan Edwards asked, “Is it rational to suppose that those whose minds are full of spiritual pollution and under the power of filthy lusts should have any relish or sense of divine beauty or excellency, or that their minds should be susceptive of that light that is in its own nature so pure and heavenly?”
Here is what I learned from my dad. He valued Christ so much that he valued doctrine. He also knew that dull eyes cannot see Christ clearly, even with good doctrine. It’s why he valued purity of heart above all else, including ultra-fine doctrinal lens-grinding.