The Christian mind … a reminder and a caution!


In the postscript to The Christian Mind, Harry Blamires suggests a proper view of the relationship of the devotional life to the Christian mind.

[W]ill the Christians of the next fifty years, over against a strengthened secularism, deepen and clarify their Christian commitment in a withdrawn cultivation of personal morality and spirituality … [Or will they] deepen and clarify their Christian commitment at the intellectual and social levels too, meeting and challenging not only secularism’s assault upon personal morality and the life of the soul, but also secularism’s truncated and perverted view of the meaning of life and the purpose of the social order?

In spite of Blamires’ suggestion of balance and integration in the Christian life, some observers have worried that a focus on the Christian mind could lead to a Christianity that is merely an intellectual framework.  A proper reading of Blamires, however, does not see him tending in this direction.

Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew offer a nice, brief description of how devotion and intellect relate:

‘Thinking Christianly’ is a vital part of expressing a Christian worldview, but thinking will [also] arise from a worldview.  And our worldview is deeply connected to our life in Christ.  If thinking Christianly becomes disconnected from the whole experience of life in Christ Jesus, it leads to a distorted, intellectualized Christianity lacking grace and humility.  A truly biblical worldview is centered in an existential relationship with Christ; it will be as much about nurturing this relationship as it is about rigorous critical thinking that arises from this relationship.

From Living at the Crossroads:  An Introduction to Christian Worldview, p. 20 (Baker Academic, 2008).

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