I am reading The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges (19th century pastor in England) and found his comments on how and why pastors should study very helpful. He emphasizes both that study is important, and that the way we study is important. For example, if we spend all our time studying, and very little time putting our knowledge into action by serving people, we won’t be learning in the way that God intends for us to learn. Naked knowledge, cut off from service, love, and prayer, is sickly and deformed. A very helpful reminder for me as I study. Here is a quote:
“Not to read or study at all is to tempt God: to do nothing but study, is to forget the Ministry: to study, only to glory in one’s knowledge, is a shameful vanity: to study, in search of the means to flatter sinners, a deplorable prevarication: but to store one’s mind with the knoweldge proper to the saints by study and by prayer, and to diffuse that knowledge in solid instructions and practical exhortations – this is to be a prudent, zealous, and laborious Minister” (p. 50).