Alister McGrath on knowing Christ as friend

A head-knowledge may well be better than no knowledge of God at all. But it leaves a lot to be desired. Why? […] It is not enough to know Christ by description; we must know him within the intimacy of a relationship. It is perfectly possible to know about Christ without having encountered him as a living and life-changing reality. We can easily assent to the truth of the gospel, yet find something else more attractive and meaningful. Our mind may assent to the truth of Christ, but our hearts find their consolation elsewhere. […]

The heart of Christianity is a person, not an idea. We can get bored with ideas. What was once new becomes stale through familiarity. Yet a relationship — something which enters into and changes our lives — is totally different. It is like getting to know and rely upon someone who becomes a trustworthy friend, in whose company we luxuriate. Ideas lose their freshness, but friends remain by our sides.

from Knowing Christ, (Galilee, 2002), 41-42, 34, 43.

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