The climate of thought today is against the idea of truth and the use of the mind to grasp it. How are Christians to respond? Today’s devotional will help you answer that question and equip you to help others who are caught in the mire of post-modernism. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Psalm 32:9 (ESV)
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
“…Scripture tells us that our rationality is part of the divine image in which God has created us. He is a rational God who has made us rational beings and given us a rational revelation. To deny our rationality is therefore to deny our humanity, to become less than human beings. Scripture forbids us to be have like horses or mules which have ‘no understanding’ and commands us instead in our understanding to be ‘adults’ (Psalm 32:9; 1 Corinthians 14:20). Indeed, we are constantly told in the Bible that every aspect of the Christian life is impossible without the Christian use of our minds….
“Let me take one example, the exercise of faith. Many imagine that faith is entirely irrational. But Scripture never sets faith and reason over against each other as incompatible. On the contrary, faith can only arise and grow within us by the use of our minds. ‘Those who know your name trust in you’ (Psalm 9:10); their trust springs from their knowledge of the trustworthiness of God’s character. Again, ‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you’ (Isaiah 26:3). Here trusting in God and staying the mind on God are synonyms, and perfect peace is the result.
“In the light of this biblical emphasis on the place of the mind in the Christian life, what are we to say to the modern generation of emotional anti-intellectuals? I am afraid we have to say that they are loudly proclaiming themselves to be worldly Christians. For ‘worldliness’ is not primarily a question…of smoking, drinking and dancing, or for that matter of makeup, movies and mini-skirts, but of the spirit of the age. If we imbibe uncritically the mood of the world (in this case, existentialism) without first subjecting it to a rigorous biblical evaluation, we have already become worldly Christians.
“‘It is a fundamental principle with us,’ said John Wesley to an early critic, ‘that to renounce reason is to renounce religion, that religion and reason go hand in hand, and that all irrational religion is false religion.’” [John R. W. Stott, Balanced Christianity, (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2014), p. 15-17. The Wesley quotation is from R. W. Burtner and R. E. Chiles, A Compend of Wesley’s Theology, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1954), p. 26]