The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

The Taylor test

with one comment

Writing on the contention between the two apostles, Paul and Peter, and its resolution, William Taylor makes the following comment:

It may seem a paradox to say it, but there are few things which test a man’s real Christianity more than reproof for that which is actually blameworthy. It is comparatively easy to guard against giving offence; but it is exceeding hard to keep from taking offence in such circumstances, and to say with the Psalmist, “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.” We all assent to Solomon’s proverb, “Open rebuke is better than secret love;” but when the rebuke comes most of us, on the whole, would prefer the love; and too frequently we are disposed to resent the faithfulness of the brother who would hint, even in the most delicate manner, that we have been in the wrong. We cry out against the modern dogma of papal infallibility, but we have all too much belief in that of our own infallibility; for our tempers are roused, and our hearts are estranged by any exposure of our error or inconsistency. How many personal alienations and ecclesiastical schisms might have been prevented, if there had been on the one side the honest frankness of Paul, and on the other the manly meekness of Peter as these come out in this transaction! (Paul the Missionary, 175-176)

Do you pass the Taylor test?

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 14 September 2011 at 08:37

One Response

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  1. Although I am not sure that on any given day I would pass the Taylor test I will say that I have been studying for it more intensely in recent years. It is indeed, in my experience, most challenging. Coincidentally I read the following just this morning:

    Richard Baxter said, “If all the Episcopalians had been like Archbishop Ussher, all the Presbyterians like Stephen Marshall, and all the Independents like Jeremiah Burroughs, the breaches of the church would soon have been healed.”


    Thursday 15 September 2011 at 11:53

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