Sunday, November 7, 2010

But What About Our Minds?

It seems that in the Evangelical world today is a tendency towards the “experience”. That is what congregation has the most emotional service, to give the seeker the best in what they are looking for. I have observed that at what is commonly termed “mega-churches” wonderfully choreographed, well practiced worship teams; lights, great equipment, a full-on experience similar to a high-price rock concert.

Books that tout the emotional side of our Christian walk have been pushed on me, when I have denied having read them yet…a shocked “Oh Lisa, you simply must read this, it is life changing!”

And even to the point where I was chastised for spending too much time studying with the comment “…Lisa, you spend too much time in the books”; these words from two different pastors.

But what does the Bible say?

Matthew 22:37 “…You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

Romans 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good an acceptable and perfect."

How about the Old Testament:

Daniel 1:17 “And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom…” and verse 20 “And as for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.”

So much seems to be written in the Bible about how God gives priority to the mind…the intellect, how we think; then how can we as Christians believe that faith is some blind “leap”? J.P. Moreland writes this;

“…Faith is now understood as a blind act of will, a decision to believe something that is that is either independent of reason or that is a simple choice to believe while ignoring the paltry lack of evidence for what is believed.”(p. 25)
If we as Christians are told (ordered?)that we should always be “…ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:15)

what then does blind “faith” have to do with that? Yes we are lead by the Spirit; but like a computer, “garbage in, garbage out”. We need to give the Holy Spirit something to work with!

As J.P. writes of the true biblical definition of faith is this “…Faith is a power or skill to act in accordance with the nature of the kingdom of God, a trust in what we have reason to believe is true.” (p. 25) Faith and reason go hand in hand.

But don’t take my word for it, read the Bible…

You can listen to a lecture by J.P. Moreland on this subject here… and click on the lecture "Apologetics Seminar (intro by Ronald Larson)or read his book “Love Your God With All Your Mind” (1997) Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.


Christina Langella said...

Good stuff, Lisa. Whenever Steven and I talk "theology" or "doctrine" with many of our brothers and sisters from our old churches -- we get a lot of what you are describing. The ironic thing is that studying actually increases your faith and cause you to walk more in it!

Love your insights -- as usual! Love you dear friend!

Lisa said...

Yep, and as you build on your knowlege, it becomes easier to witness to others.

If you get the chance, listen to J.P.'s lecture, you and Steve would enjoy it.