Monday, November 20, 2006

Loving God with Your Mind

J. P. Moreland, in his excellent book, Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul, writes:

The mind is like a muscle. If it is not exercised regularly and strenuously, it loses some of its capacities and strength. We modern evangelicals often feel small and without influence in the public square. We must recapture our intellectual heritage if we are to present to our brothers and sisters, our children, and a post-Christian culture a version of Christianity rich and deep enough to challenge the dehumanizing structures and habits of thought of a society gone mad. To do this, we must change our reading habits; indeed, we must alter our entire approach to the life of the mind as part of Christian discipleship." (p. 87)

In order to do this, reading Moreland's book would be an excellent first step.

Here's an exercise you can try. Read When Religion Loses Its Credibility, an editorial in today's USA Today written by Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, a Baptist minister and author of an upcoming book, 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job).

Identify his thesis (what's the main thing he's trying to argue). Next identify his arguments (composed of premises that lead to conclusions). Then evaluate his arguments. Are his arguments valid (that is, do they logically follow and are they free from fallacious reasoning)? Then finally ask: Are his arguments true (that is, how well do they match up with a Scriptural view of God, world, and self)?