Derek Webb again...

(Tim) By the way, yesterday Herr Professor Doctor Jürgen von Hagen brought us the Word of God at Church of the Good Shepherd. His text was the Rich Fool and it's context, Luke 12:16-34. Concerning the statements there, "he began reasoning to himself" and "I will say to my soul," Juergen made the point that Scripture does not commend a man talking to himself.

This occurred to me watching Derek. Eyes closed, all alone, singing. He appears to be completely entranced with his own music and himself.

* * *

By the way, the sermon is well worth your time. If you're within driving distance, we have a number of men who would be delighted to preach for you--including Pastor von Hagen. Just send me an e-mail with your location and proposed date.


Hmmm .... Martyn Lloyd Jones used to recommend that we "talk back to ourselves," and would cite the Psalmist as having done so.


Lloyd-Jones said that we need to "take ourselves in hand" and "talk to ourselves" instead of "listen to ourselves." In the context of what MLJ was talking about--spiritual depression--this is good advice, indeed.

The kind of self-talk that Pastor von Hagen was talking about is the self-contained, self-referential, self-sufficient "listening to oneself" that Lloyd-Jones maintains is deadly.

To me, too, this was the most novel and surprising point of Pastor von Hagen's sermon. I have thought about it a lot over the past 24 hours.

Reading this, I recall that Webb is the man who, during the election season, made a strong point of denying the need to influence how his friends voted. And yet, he apparently has great dislike for apathy on certain matters (including, no doubt, his musical reception).

How is it that a man whose music ostensibly intends to influence how the Christian world treats the needy had no similar conviction about influencing his friends not to vote for a man who would encourage their slaughter? What kind of fruit is made only to rot on the tree?

I'm grateful that God made apple trees that can't be narcissistic.

>...the most novel and surprising point of Pastor von Hagen's sermon.

I, too, thought this the most striking point made in the sermon, and something of which I am often guilty. And as I think further on it, I recall how often Scripture links this sort of interiority with sin. How often does the man who reasons within himself end up sinning outside himself!

On that thought, I made a quick (cross-translational) search of the phrase "within themselves" in Scripture. Informal results: more than 80% of the time the phrase was used in a negative context.


"Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?" (Mark 2:8)

"And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?'" (Matt. 21:25b)

Then again, perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising. It may well be that self-referential reasoning can produce not just the double-minded man unstable in all his ways, but, eventually, the single-minded man all too stable in his sin.


It would be kind of silly to "talk to yourself" in an approving way, without out at the same time "listening to whatever you are saying to yourself."

Do you have a reference where Lloyd-Jones says listening to yourself is deadly when you are talking to yourself in the way that he recommends?

"Do you have a reference where Lloyd-Jones says listening to yourself is deadly when you are talking to yourself in the way that he recommends?"

I believe that is in Spiritual Depression.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, pp. 20-21:

"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. 'Why art thou cast down, O my soul?' he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, 'Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.'"

I like the D. Maryn Lloyd-Jones quote. I find that when I listen to myself too much I tend to become depressed. I become sunk in my negative thoughts but, for me, when I quit sitting and listening and start moving on my day, it goes away. Of course, there is plenty of busyness at our house to drown out my thoughts! Case in point, I was just interrupted by an emergency trip to the bathroom with the 3 year old who was concentrating just a little too hard.....

From my reading last night:

"Then David said to himself,'Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.'"

I also want to commend anyone who wasn't at CGS to listen to Jürgen's sermon on-line. In speaking with many of the brethern, I've found it already is bearing fruit in their lives. I know it is in my own heart.


You've still missed my point, but that is ok. My point is that Lloyd-Jones is recommending that in talking back to ourselves we listen to the talk back that we are speaking to ourselves -- the talk back that is contrary to the initial unwise speaking.

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