Sunday, October 28, 2007

Orthodoxy affects Orthopathy which affects Orthopraxy

Following on from the last post,
The good news is that right doctrine can affect our feelings in a positive way, which can help us to do right actions.
After many chapters of doctrine, the apostle Paul writes:

ESV Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I don't think that I have a complete grasp of what's going on in this verse, but I find Douglas Moo's comments quite helpful:
"The renewing of your mind" is the means by which this transformation takes place. "Mind" translates a word that Paul uses especially to connote a person's "practical reason," or "moral consciousness." Christians are to adjust their way of thinking about everything in accordance with the "new-ness" of their life in the Spirit (cf. 7:6). This "re-programming" of the mind does not take place overnight but is a lifelong process by which our way of thinking is to resemble more and more the way God wants us to think. In Rom. 1:28 Paul has pointed out that people's rejection of God has resulted in God's giving them over to a "worthless" mind: one that is "unqualified" (adokimos) in assessing the truth about God and the world he has made. Now, Paul assers, the purpose of our being transformed by renewing of the mind is that this state might be reversed; that we might be able to "approve" (dokimazo) the will of God. "Approving" the will of God means to understand and agree with what God wants of us with a view to putting it into practice."

Moo. Epistle to the Romans. p. 756-757, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.