Develop Your Mind for God
- Tuesday, September 19, 2006
The following is a report on the practical applications of James Emery White's new book, A Mind for God, (IVP Books, 2006).
In today’s world, a myriad of views clamor for your attention, while popular culture distracts you with mindless entertainment. It’s a challenge to develop your intellect and use it to think biblically about the world – but it’s vital to do so. If you don’t, you’ll be taken captive by competing worldviews and fail to make the truth heard above the chaos.
So make it a priority to develop your mind for God. Here’s how:
* Recognize that ideas have consequences. Know that ideas have great power to influence people. Come to understand ideas that are prevalent in the world and challenge biblical truth, such as: moral relativism (which claims that moral values are a matter of personal opinion or private judgment instead of something grounded in objective truth), autonomous individualism (which claims that moral authority rests with individuals alone, with no higher moral authority to guide or determine choices), narcissistic hedonism (which claims that personal pleasure and fulfillment are what matters most), and reductive naturalism (which claims that anything that can’t be examined in a physically tangible, scientific manner is unknowable and meaningless). Ask God to show you how these worldviews commonplace in secular culture have affected your own thinking. Then use your understanding of these perspectives to engage the world for Christ, seeking to help meet people’s unmet needs. Consider how you might begin to live in ways that could intersect with their deepest longings and questions.
* Read with a purpose. Don’t read simply to entertain yourself; instead, seek to expand your mind through your reading. Schedule time regularly to read and seriously study the Bible. Select a wide variety of books to read that represent thoughtful literature and help prepare you to understand and engage the world’s ideas. Be sure to read Christian books, but don’t limit yourself to those alone. Recognize that God’s truth can be found in some secular books, as well, and that those that contain opposing worldviews can help you understand the need for dialogue and redemption. Include some old, classic books on your reading list, because doing so is like engaging in a conversation with some of the noblest people of history and benefiting from their ideas and experiences. Don’t be intimidated by writing styles that demand more effort to understand than others; know that exercising your mind is worth it.
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