More on Strengthening the Mind of a Christian – Part I

Part I.  I am encountering many current readings that reinforce the notion of a Christian strengthening or stretching the mind.  In my book, The Faith Equation, on p. xiii and xiv, The Faith Equation is defined to be

Faith = (Mind) + (Heart) + (Will).

My mind is engaged with the equation as it gathers evidence for a decision.  My heart is engaged in the equation when it feels the need for something to fill a void in my life.  My heart is involved when I know within me that there is some disconnect that life is not providing an answer for; I hurt, I feel, I need, I long…  In short, there is a void that needs to be filled by a focus on God.  My will is engaged as I choose to come to faith—it is a choice that seems to be unequivocal, accompanied by a commitment and a bias to action.

In The Faith Equation, the evidence for the mind is gathered primarily in a framework of mathematics, although an immense amount of evidence lies outside the realm of mathematics.

Numerous theologians, such as C. S. Lewis, Norman Geisler, Dallas Willard, William Lane Craig, John Stott, and J. P. Moreland,  implore Christians to admit the mind into their faith.   Moreland writes in Love The Lord Your God With All Your Mind,  ” . . .  how unusual it is for Christian people to be taught how to think carefully and deeply about what they believe and why they believe it . . . Judged by the scriptures, church history, and common sense, it is clear that something has gone desperately wrong with our modern understanding of the value of reason and intellectual development for individual discipleship and corporate church life.” For non-Christians Moreland also asserts, “… faith is built on reason. We [non-Christians] should have good reasons for thinking that Christianity is true before we [non-Christians] dedicate ourselves completely to it.” Stott writes, “Knowledge is indispensable to Christian life and service. If we do not use the mind which God has given us, we condemn ourselves to spiritual superficiality.”

We are thinking beings, made to think – it is such a gift. I coined the following motto for the book:

God says, “I gave you a brain! Use it my defense. I know I can stand the test!”

This motto has received tremendous response.  Indeed, that still small voice of God must have inspired it.

S. Lewis asserts in Mere Christianity, Chapter 2, p. 75:

“. . . He [God] also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.   …   He wants everyone to use what sense they have.   …   God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers.  If you are thinking of being a Christian, I warn you are embarking on something that is going to take the whole of you, brains and all.”