Flavel on Limited Knowledge

I am often amazed at the learning that some men have concerning things theological and philosophical. But my amazement, at times turn to discouragement when I think about how much that I want to learn, and being a slow reader certainly does not help. Turning to the great puritan John Flavel, his warm hearted encouragement sets the perspective aright. He says, commenting in a sermon on 1 Corinthians 2:2,


The sufficiency of the doctrine of Christ, to make men wise unto salvation. Paul desired to know nothing else; and, indeed, nothing else is of absolute necessity to be known. A little of this knowledge, if saving and effectual upon thy heart, will do thy soul more service, than all the vain speculation and profound parts that others so much glory in. Poor Christian, be not dejected, because thou seest thyself out-script and excelled by so many in other parts of knowledge; if thou know Jesus Christ, thou knowest enough to comfort and save thy soul. Many learned philosophers are now in hell, and many illiterate Christians in heaven. (The Works of John Flavel, Vol. 1; pages 37-38)

Flavel’s writings are full of warm, pastoral insights and we can all benefit from what we could glean from them. For an exceptional book review, check out Tony Reinke’s full work-up here. Also, check out Tony’s other book reviews while you’re there.


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