Steve Hays and James Anderson, eds. Love the Lord with Heart and Mind. 2nd ed. n.p.: n.p., 2009.
Excerpt from the interview with Robert W. Yarbrough (pp. 140–41)
9. Looking back over your life as a Christian, how would you say that your faith has evolved over time? How, if at all, does your lived-in faith differ from when you were younger?
In general, the older I get the more gratifying it becomes to know God through faith in Christ, not least because this enriches immeasurably all other areas of my life. At the same time, the difficulties of loyal service to Christ, to the extent that I may ever approximate it, seem to grow thornier. Jeremiah said the human heart is deceitful and sick [Jer 17:9]. I’m afraid that I become personally ever more acutely conscious of this about myself as time goes by. . . .
11. Since you’ve been a Christian, have you undergone a crisis of faith? If so, how did you work through it?
How about a few hundred of them? I have learned: to keep affirming confidence that God is at work in this wide world, among his people, and in my soul; to stay active in everyday service to others within my church; to remain tenacious in observing a daily time of Bible study and prayer; and to allow daily family life to convict me of my selfishness and egoism (a function which spouse and children serve in amazing ways).
And then: Jesus urged faithfulness in little things as they key to “success” in big spiritual matters. So I try to take care of the little things day in and day out. Looking back I see that this has helped ensure that faith did not grow to seem too unbearably irreal nor God too distant.
Re question 9, compare what I write in Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick Theology on pages 269–70:
Through the Spirit’s power, the believer progressively mortifies sins while simultaneously cultivating and nourishing holiness (Rom. 8:13; 2 Thess. 2:13). This is a gradual, lifelong progress. This does not imply that the more a believer matures, the less he struggles with sin, although he certainly will struggle less with particular types of sins. A proper view of sin makes the believer aware of just how sinful he is and how far short he falls of God’s holiness. That is why church history is replete with examples of godly men who became increasingly aware of their sinfulness and God’s holiness as they matured as Christians. A vivid example of this is the godly Scottish pastor Andrew Bonar (1810–92), who is best remembered by his diary. His classic devotional journal records his preoccupation with prayer, Bible study, and meditation, yet he was never satisfied and was always aware of his weakness and sinfulness. The relationship between the maturity of Christians and their awareness of their sinfulness is proportional: the more Christians grow by means of grace, the more sensitive they become to their sinfulness; the more holy they become, the more they see their own sinfulness. Paul himself increasingly realized his own sinfulness: he referred to himself as “the least of the apostles” (1 Cor. 15:9), then “the very least of all saints” (Eph. 3:8), and finally, the “foremost” of “sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). Although all believers experience “a real and genuine (actual) victory, it is a qualified victory” because it does not consist in victory over all known sin.
Re question 11, compare what I write in Let Go and Let God? on page 294:
Some believers take such a large step of growth at one time that they remember it for years. The error is in calling a large step of growth a once-for-all-time “crisis” that enables “real” progressive sanctification to begin. Some believers experience multiple large steps of growth, and others experience more gradual steps. A helpful analogy to this is that some people remember for years certain meals that they have eaten (e.g., a meal celebrating one’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary), but cannot remember the majority of the meals they have eaten. This does not mean that they have failed to eat meals consistently; rather, it reveals that some meals were more memorable than others. Similarly, as believers experience gradual growth in holiness, some steps of spiritual growth may be more memorable than others.