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This paper was written by W.Simpson.

Mr. Simpson runs the LogosWord Website. He reminds his readers that he is not a theologian, 'just a layman with a laptop and a growing bookshelf'.

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Articles > Charismatic Theology > Maker of the Mind

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Footnotes

  If we too are to keep our theology sound and successfully fulfil the biblical mandate to be ‘salt and light’ in the world – in its gutters and in its universities, in the kingdom of God and in the kingdom of the cults – I am convinced that the modern disciple of Christ should not seek to sanction any unbiblical divorce in the marriage of faith and reason. The sanctity of this alliance has been demonstrated time and again in the life and ministry of Jesus, the apostles, and the many subsequent heroes of our faith who all embraced the biblical call for a developed mind, ever-ready to give ‘a well reasoned defence’ for the hope that is within us (1Pet. 3:15).

 

  The mandate to acquire wisdom and understanding (Pro. 4:5, 7; 16:16, Psa. 119:104), to obtain knowledge and shun ignorance (Rom. 1:13; 11:25; 1Cor. 10:1; 12:1; 2Cor. 1:8; 1Thess. 4:13; cf. 2 Pet. 3:8), to develop the mind (Mk. 12:30; Rom. 12:2) and become doctrinally anchored (2Pe. 3:16), is echoed and re-echoed throughout the scriptures. The prophet Isaiah asks repeatedly, ‘Do you not know, have you not heard?’ (Is. 40:21,28). Jesus frequently enquires: ‘Have you not read...?’. (Mat. 12:3,5; 19:4; Mk. 12:10 etc.) Time after time Paul repeats the question, ‘Don’t you know...?’ (Rom. 6:3, 16; 11:2; 1Cor. 3:16; 5:6; 6:2, 3, 9, 15, 16, 19; 9:13). And how often are Christians chided for their ignorance and for failing to think clearly about their beliefs (eg. 1Cor. 15:12-14,32,35; Gal. 3:1; 4:21; Col. 2:8)? If we are to avoid being justly condemned as ‘ignorant and unstable people’ (2Pet. 3:16), we as believers must learn to actively engage in the time-consuming process of renewing the mind (Rom. 12:2); learning to think sensibly and biblically about God, ourselves and about the world around us. We cannot expect the Spirit to lead us into all necessary truth without an obedient response to the Spirit-breathed commands that call for honest thinking and reflective study, nor should we expect other people to accept our doctrines if we can offer no justification for them outside of our feelings and experiences. In the Charismatic Renewal, we value experience and spiritual power. However, ‘power without theology is dangerous’, as the gifted but childish community in Corinth clearly demonstrated! If the Church is to reach her full potential in these last days, she must know what she believes, be convinced that it is ‘true and reasonable’ (Acts 26:25), and be able to convince other people. Never again must she allow challenges to the faith and the contaminating influence of secular philosophies persuade her to question this ancient, biblical alliance between reason and spiritual truth. It is, in God’s eyes, a marriage made in heaven.

 


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User Contributed Comments

Chuntyhamilton
Monday 16th of May 2005

Many of the arguments between secularists,scientists and 'fundementalist' christians seem to revolve around the Old Testament and are often carried out at the exclusion of delivering the Gospel of Christ. Surely our role as Christians is the delivery of the Gospel of Christ rather than entering into contention about the nature of Old testament writing which is quite often the preferred arena of the secular and the scientists.


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