Happy in God, Happy in Life image

Happy in God, Happy in Life

In his resoundingly brilliant book, The Happy Christian, David Murray relates a study of KPMG tax auditors and managers. Apparently they were a particularly unhappy bunch. Why? Because, “They spent their days looking for mistakes and errors, and that ‘talent’ spilled over into every other part of their lives, including their closest relationships.”

On reading that I immediately thought of the way in which those of a Reformed theological persuasion often have a reputation for sourness. In the light of KPMG tax accountants, this makes sense – the Reformed have a tendency to look for theological mistakes and errors and this can spill over into every other part of their lives. Especially their blogs.

This should not be! And it is ironic, as Reformed theology (whose most famous statement of faith begins with the declaration that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever) has foundations sunk far deeper in the wells of joy than other theological systems. Sadly, it is possible to be right, but not happy, even if the thing you’re right about should make you happy.

A nit-picking Reformed-type-guy might point out in response that the emerging-post-evangelical-openness crowd, who are quickest to critique Reformed theology, hardly display much in the way of happiness themselves - certainly, they don’t tend to write the kinds of blogs where one would go looking for jollity. It could also be pointed out that this is hardly surprising when they have joy foundations that are only millimetres deep – but we don’t engage in such ad hominem arguments on THINK.

It’s not that theological rigour is unimportant, any less than the need for tax accountants to be rigorous. But more time spent celebrating all that we have in Christ, and less time worrying about the errors of others would seem to be the lesson though. And I would urge you to read Murray’s book. It really is a corker.

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