When I look at the books in my library authored by such men as St. Augustine, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, R. L. Dabney, classics from Plato and Aristotle or contemporaries such as John Gerstner, R. C. Sproul, Os Guinness and Alasdair MacIntyre, I  often feel a sense of astonishment.  In times past I thought their work was magnificent.  As time goes by, I realize more and more that these men are not so magnificent.  But they have accomplished so much.  What makes them so outstanding?  Is it because they are magnificent scholars and church doctors?  Not really!  What makes them outstanding is their significance.

What is significance?  The titanic was magnificent because of its size and majesty.  It was also significant because it marked the meaning and importance for sea going vessels to learn to respect natural elements.  Significance refers to meaning and importance, but it is not associated with pride.  Most of the authors I mentioned made significant contributions to my world and life view (philosophy of life).  However, the most significant influence on my life is Jesus Christ.  In Him I see ultimate and eternal significance.  It is in Jesus Christ that I see the fulness of significance and magnificence.

We live during a time when significance has been replaced by triviality.  Classical Christianity teaches the significance of sovereignty, authority, majesty, dignity, truth, holiness, and justice.  Where do we find these words today except in the classical literature written by men of significance.  I remember one theological student looked at my library and said, "you don't have much fluff and puff."  He is right.  I consider the majority of Christian books published in recent years as little more that "fluff and puff."  There was a time when sermons were significant, but today sermons are more like Dale Carnegie Seminars.  They are spectator-centered and have little effect on the hearers.  These pep talks do not even reach the epidermis of the soul.  I think you can see where I'm going with this line of thought, so let me give the "therefore" at this point.  The witness of the evangelical church is losing its significance!


The question is why?  The answer is simple!  Go ask Adam, Noah, Samson, Saul, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, or the last prophet in the Bible, Malachi.  There you will discover that human beings think they are more important than they really are and they think God is less important that He really is.


Malachi lived during a time when there was no invasion, no famine, no war and things looked relatively good.  His culture reminds me of any town, USA.  Outwardly things seemed in order, but inwardly there were serious problems.  Significance had become insignificant and self-examination was not considered in vogue.  The circumstances are different, but the same problems remain with us.  Individually and collectively as a church, we need to find significance in the God of sovereignty, authority, majesty, dignity, truth, holiness, and justice.