A couple of weeks ago, during my reading of J. Mark Bertrand's (Re)Thinking Worldview: Learning to Think, Live, and Speak in This World, I marked the following passage for inclusion on this blog, but neglected to post it prior to today. This is a remarkable book, and my "one-sentence review" of this work might need to be stretched once I finish it due to the fact that I am having to read this book slowly and carefully.
As a pastor, this excerpt was especially meaningful:
If the struggle to form right beliefs and express them through right action is the central focus of the Christian life, then it stands to reason that you must assume personal responsibility for your spiritual development and the practice of godliness. Remember the fundamental relation between God and man: an unmediated fellowship. No one stands between you and Christ. Although there are many people who are willing to help -- pastors, teachers, mentors -- ultimately the responsibility for your spiritual growth is your own. (pg. 149)