Thursday, December 02, 2004

Developing the Christian Mind

The following is my notes from a lecture given by Dr. John Stott entitled "Developing the Christian Mind" presented on November 3, 1986 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. See my previous post for more on Dr. John Stott.

Key verse:

Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. (1 Corinthians 14:20)

The mind is important because tthe use of our mind is glorifying to God. He is a rational God, has made us rational and has given us a rational revealing about Himself. We ought to approach Him rationally.

A proper use of the mind enriches our Christian life (in particular our discipleship). We cannot worship God worthily without using our minds. See Psalm 105 - To worship is to glory in God's holy name.

A proper use of the mind strengthens our witness. The apostles reasoned with people over the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit brings people to conversion because of the evidence when He has opened their mind to it.

A Christian mind is the mind of a Christian. It could also be defined as the mind of Christ. A Christian mind has a Christian mindset or a Christian perspective on things. A Christian mind is searching for the will of God.

The Christian mind focuses on two things: the reality of God and the paradox of man made in the image of God. The Christian mind is a godly mind and God is in all his thoughts. There are two implications of this. The first of these is the definition of wisdom. The Christian mind gives meaning to life. The second of these is humbleness. Since God is in the mind then it should be humble. The Christian mind is a godly mind and refuses to honor anything that is not glorifying to God.

The second focus is the paradox of man made in the image of God. The paradox is we have dignity and depravity. We are able in one moment ot be like God and in the rest turn around and be as unlike God as any human can be.

How do we apply the paradox? One of these ways is the self-image. We need to have an accurate self-image. Developing a balanced self-image requires remembering who we are and who created us. Another application is dealing with political ideology. It is unwise to try to support one political system and say it is the absolute right ideology. Christians exist on all parts of the political spectrum.

We want to be a Christian who is integrated. All parts of the body are intergrated into the lordship of Christ. We need a hearing that feels deeply with a mind that thinks clearly. A mind without a heart is nothing.

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