For the searching and right understanding of the Scriptures there is need of a good life and a pure soul, and for Christian virtue to guide the mind to grasp, so far as human nature can, the truth concerning God the Word. One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life…[A]nyone who wishes to understand the mind of the sacred writers must first cleanse his own life, and approach the saints by compuing their deeds.
I wonder how much “American church culture” would change if our primary focus was on a “good life and a pure soul.” Would the way we understand the Scriptures change? Would our interpretations be different? Would our communities of faith be transformed?