PART ONE: “Scripture’s Teaching Concerning the Christian Mind”
It seems that for far too long Christians have been on the sidelines of intellectual excellence both in theory and in practice. However, recently there has been a much needed and welcomed renaissance of Christian philosophy and apologetics. With this shift there has been a growing understanding and utilization of the essential need for rational and logical thinking within the evangelical community. This devotional will consist of two parts; in part one I will examine what the Scriptures teach about the Christian mind and how to cultivate it for God’s glory. The second part will look at the biblical teaching about the unbelieving mind and why it is critical to understand the antithesis that exists between the mind of the believer versus the unbeliever. This understanding is crucial to effective evangelism and to an appropriate apologetic methodology and practice.
To think logically is to truly think godly. The failure to disengage in rational or logical thinking amounts to disloyalty to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We are to do all things for God’s glory and that includes our thinking (cf. 1 Cor. 10:31). To think God’s thoughts after him involves thinking morally and thinking logically. Thus it is important what we think and how we think. The cultivation of the Christian mind has been sorely and obviously neglected and it is time that Christians start using the great resource of our minds for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I want to say at the outset that there is no contradiction between faith and rationality; rather they must be seen as complimentary. This false dichotomy has led to some very negative results in the history of Christianity. Not only is the Christian faith rational, it is the Christian faith that accounts for and makes sense of rationality and logic. Thus Christianity is the very foundation for rationality.
Jesus himself commanded us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27). Loving God involves obedience in the mind and using it correctly is a means of genuine worship and service. We can love God with our minds because we have minds that are renewed and are being renewed (Rom.12:2). This renewing of the mind begins with regeneration and continues throughout the process of our earthly sanctification. It is because we have renewed minds that we can think Biblically and therefore differently than unbelievers. We need not, any longer, “conform to the pattern of this world” (Rom.12:2). Not only do we have regenerate minds but we also have the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). What a blessing it is that we can know the mind of the Lord and think like Him. We have the ability because of our spiritual rebirth to actually think like God so that we can obey and glorify Him with our minds! It is the Christian who “can take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). The Apostle Peter stated that we must “prepare our minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13). We have been “blessed with every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3) and this certainly includes our Biblically-trained minds. It is time for Christians to again be at the forefront of intellectual endeavor and glorify God with our minds! Next month in part two of this devotional I want to look at the opposition of the unbelieving mind and why it is crucial to understand for the purpose of evangelism and the apologetic encounter.