Simple Life and Simple Love

I have a post over at The Gospel Coalition on faith and biblical simplicity.  I have been thinking a good bit through the “Shema” (Deut 6:4-9) over the past few years, and I may do some follow-up blogs in the weeks ahead as I read through this creed of the Old Testament.

Here is an excerpt from the TGC piece:

The search for the simple life continues today, particularly in the educated class: simple clothing, minimalist design, local dining, and thinking about these things while thumbing through the latest edition of Real Simple magazine.

But the effect is limited. We set out to to eat, pray, love, but we often end up with binge, purge, regret.

All of this interest in simplicity is fine, and a lot of it is wise, but notice the logic. It’s working from the theory that if we can simplify things outside ourselves—our style of dress, the furniture in our houses, our travel, our food, our relationships, our children’s schedules—then we will find ourselves becoming simpler.

In short, this simplification is aimed at our circumstances, the world around us. Not that there’s anything wrong with this approach. It can be gratifying, but the Bible talks about a quite different kind of simplification. The Scriptures call us to a simplicity that springs up within the heart of the one who loves the God who is one.

There’s nothing wrong with eating a diet of only raw food and wearing only underwear sewn from locally grown cotton. But the biblical notion of simple living doesn’t arise from the character of our lifestyle. Rather, it arises from the character of the God who gives us life.

Read the rest here.