I’m reading C.S. Lewis’s novel The Great Divorce again (or rather, I’m listening to this excellent audio version). It’s a good companion to The Screwtape Letters, each of them giving insight into the ways we human beings can go wrong. Lewis had a keen grasp of ideas, people, and the intersection between the two—how the former affect the latter and how the weaknesses of the latter can blind them to the former. He saw human nature so clearly—what delights us, what tempts us, and, in this particular book, the various idols (ideas, people, fame, influence, etc.) we’re in danger of embracing above God Himself, at the expense of losing God Himself.
This quote caught my attention:
There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself...as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist! There have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ. Man! Ye see it in smaller matters. Did ye never know a lover of books that with all his first editions and signed copies had lost the power to read them? Or an organiser of charities that had lost all love for the poor? It is the subtlest of all the snares.
Someone once warned me that when you go to seminary, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that studying God is the same as communing with God. It isn’t. Guard your time with Him. If you let apologetics squeeze time with God out of your life, your soul will start to starve, and the results could be disastrous. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of learning and using apologetics at the expense of interacting with God through the normal, everyday means He’s given to us. Pray. Read the Bible. Worship. Do all of these things in community with others. Don’t forget that all of this is about a real Person who can be—and wants to be—known by you.