to sympathize with it

One of the most important—and much neglected—ingredients of Christian discipleship is the cultivation of a listening ear. Bad listeners do not make good disciples.
…We listen to the Word with humble reverence, anxious to understand it, and resolved to believe and obey what we come to understand. We listen to the world with critical alertness, anxious to understand it too, and resolved not necessarily to believe and obey it, but to sympathize with it and to seek grace to discover how the gospel relates to it.

Quoted by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby in The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness (2007) from the Contemporary Christian: Applying God’s Word to Today’s World by John Stott (1992).

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