I started Tim Keller’s book on prayer and so far it has been a delight to read.
In Keller’s discussions on communion with God through prayer, he quotes the famous John Murray. Murray says, “It is necessary for us to recognize that there is an intelligent mysticism in the life of faith . . . of living union and communion with the exalted and ever-present Redeemer. . . . He communes with his people and his people commune with him in conscious reciprocal love. . . . The life of true faith cannot be that of cold metallic assent. It must have the passion and warmth of love and communion because communion with God is the crown and apex of true religion.”
The word “mysticism” may be cringeworthy for some people, but Keller comments and clarifies about the Christian’s experience with God combining heart and mind, experience and theology. Here are Keller’s comments:
“One phrase of Murray’s resonated particularly, that we were called to an intelligent mysticism. That means an encounter with God that involves not only the affections of the heart but also the convictions of the mind. We are not called to choose between a Christian life based on truth and doctrine or a life filled with spiritual power and experience. They go together. I was not being called to leave behind my theology and launch out to look for “something more,” for experience. Rather, I was meant to ask the Holy Spirit to help me experience my theology.”
A good reminder for us to fight for the experience in our theology. To leave it as head knowledge without the heart would be an atrocity. As Keller states, there is no need to choose between the two. Truth and spiritual experience go together, and we must pray that God would keep the fires of theology burning in our hearts as we serve Him in this life.