Revival of the Mind (part 7)
In order to recover the life of the mind, evangelicals must anchor their faith on historical facts, not on religious feelings. Reliance on subjective feelings rather than on objective facts may explain why a thorough knowledge of the Bible, biblical history, and biblical theology is almost non-existent among Christians today. This affinity toward subjective feelings must change or Christianity will continue to be marginalized in our culture.
A Christian revival of the mind, however, should include more than just biblical knowledge. A good understanding of history, including church history, is important. As Solomon once said, “there’s nothing new under the sun.” There are no new heresies, just repackaged old ones. There are no new philosophies, just the Greeks re-mixed. A good understanding of the intellectual movements of world history will demystify the current thoughts and trends of our culture and keep us from being held captive by novelties. In the same manner, a thorough understanding of Church history will keep the Church from making the same old mistakes and from being held captive by new and novel theologies.
A revival of the mind also means that Christians will work toward the redemption of the culture. Instead of rejecting the science and arts, we should cultivate them with enthusiasm and pursue them for the Glory of God. A toilet on display in a museum or a crucifix in a jar of urine should not be responded to with outrage, but with pity—pity that a person has such a dark and twisted view of the true, the beautiful, and the good. Christians should not respond with calls of censorship (he who calls for censorship will soon be censored), but with masterpieces that show true hope, creativity, and beauty, and by contrast, shame the dark and twisted attempts at art.
In the sciences, Christians can show they are more open-minded than their naturalist counterparts. A naturalist, by definition, has already closed his mind to the possibility of God, even before examining the evidence. A Christian in the sciences can follow the evidence wherever it leads, even if it’s to God. If the biblical worldview is correct, then any discipline that takes it into account will come much closer to the truth. For example, if those who study sociology, psychiatry, or anthropology would recognize that mankind is morally fallen and possesses a sin nature, they will come closer to the truth than those who believe mankind is basically good.
If God has created all things, then He has made all scientific and artistic disciplines possible, therefore all disciplines lead back to Him. Christians need to think deeply about how the biblical worldview can be brought to bear on their particular job or field of study. Like C.S. Lewis wrote, “We must attack the enemy’s line of communication. What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent.” We should so love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that when the world looks for an expert in any field they should find a Christian there.
In the past, Christians were among the brightest and best thinkers in the world. By the grace of God and with a revival of the Christian mind, it can be that way again.
Article by Pastor Billy Elkins.