Love the Lord with Your Mind

Americans have a love-hate relationship with learning. One of the key values of the Pilgrims who emigrated to these shores was the education of their children. We still have a strong desire to see our children educated because we believe that this continues to be vital to their future success. And yet, while we love the idea of learning, in practice we hate the act of actually learning and thinking critically. As a culture, we would rather be entertained than educated.
If we adopt this as Christians we will find ourselves standing on shaky ground. It was Jesus who said that the greatest commandment is that we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mk 12:30). I would argue that many churches have inadvertently elevated loving God with all our hearts and souls to the detriment of loving God with our minds. This becomes most evident in the songs we sing. Just ask yourself this question: Of all the songs that we sing on Sunday morning, how many songs speak primarily about emotions? Emotions aren’t bad, they are part of God’s gift of making human beings in His image, however, we need more than emotions.

We Christians need to begin recovering the concept of loving and worshiping God in the life of the mind. Now, I don’t mean that we should all drop what we are doing to get degrees in theology, write books or become stodgy academics. Rather, as Mark Noll so eloquently defined it, the life of the mind is, “the effort to think like a Christian — to think within a specifically Christian framework — across the whole spectrum of modern learning.” If we are to be Christians who worship God with our minds we must engage in careful, well-reasoned thought about the issues in our world from a Biblical worldview. Loving God with our minds means that we use the minds that God has given us to evaluate and engage the issues through the lens of Scripture.

In doing this, we bring glory to God. As God’s divine image bearers we have the unique ability to reason and interact that other parts of the created order can’t. A dog may be able to tell the difference between the different types of food he eats, but he cannot reason about what makes that food taste the way it does. Nor can a dog contemplate the process that  raw materials underwent in order to be  transformed into the food in the bag. And yet humans are capable of this and much more.

This is what this blog aims to do: help Christians engage the life of the mind for the glory of God. We will take quick looks at issues and think about what’s at stake, what lies just beneath the surface, and how to look at things through the lens of Scripture. This is why the blog is called crossroads. We stand at the crossroads where faith meets ideas and we engage the life of the mind to make our way forward.

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