Revival of the Mind (Part 6)
In order for the church to recover the life of the mind, church leaders must lead by example; this does not lessen the responsibility of every Christian in this recovery effort. The call of Christ is a call to be a disciple, which means to be a learner of Christ by allowing Him and His Word to shape our hearts and minds. Christ is the teacher and Christians are His students. It’s no mistake that Jesus added the word “mind” in Matthew 22:37 (also in Mark 12:30 and in Luke 10:27) to Deuteronomy 6:5, helping us not to forget that our minds, as well as our hearts and souls, must be involved in our love for God.
If Christians are students, then we must do what students do—learn. Learning requires the intellect; if Christians neglect the intellect, they will prove to be worldly Christians at best, false disciples at worst. James 4:4 tells us that to be friends with the world is to be an enemy of God. Worldliness is not about whether women should wear make-up or men should have short hair; it’s about keeping our minds from being conformed to the world’s way of thinking. Mark Noll wrote, “If evangelicals do not take seriously the larger world of the intellect, we say, in effect, that we want our minds to be shaped by the conventions of our modern universities and the assumptions of Madison Avenue, instead of by God and the servants of God.” In order to avoid worldliness, Paul tells us that we must not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by a renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2), minds shaped by the biblical worldview. The foundation of all Christian thought is that there is a God and He has spoken in the Bible. The Christian mind evaluates everything through the lens of the Bible, especially the biblical doctrines of creation, fall, and redemption.
What can Christians do to help facilitate a revival of the mind? The first priority should be for every Christian to become biblically literate. Sadly, the average Christian does not have a good grasp of what the Bible teaches, or of the flow and significance of biblical history. Studying the Bible and listening intently to teaching and preaching from the Bible should once again become a priority to Christians if we’re going to see a revival of the mind.
Christians must also seek to become theologically literate. Theology literally means “words about God.” Anyone saying anything about God is engaging in theology. Obviously this means that there is good theology (words that are right about God) and bad theology (words that are wrong about God). How can we know good theology from bad theology? The Bible is God’s words about Himself and is the standard by which all words about God should be measured. Christians should learn the great theological truths of the Christian faith by reading the Bible and books by gifted Christian theologians, both past and present (I recommend books such as “Systematic Theology” by Wayne Grudem).
Next week we will conclude this series by suggesting a few more areas of study and give some final thoughts about the Christian mind.
Article by Pastor Billy Elkins.