Tom Gilson

Ten Reasons To Think Christianly

Last week I opened my new series on basic discipleship of the mind by outlining briefly what it means to think Christianly. The next most important question is whether it matters that we think Christianly. Here are ten reasons it does:

  1. Knowing God — which is of first importance — means knowing. Jesus said “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). This is relational knowledge, which to a great extent depends on knowing true facts about God: his nature, his character, how he has revealed himself.
  2. The first Great Commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:34-40).
  3. Personal transformation begins with the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2).
  4. From the same passage, spiritual worship—which could also be rendered rational service—is tied to the renewal of our minds. Service and worship are both connected to the life of the mind.
  5. The word “disciple” means follower-learner. We cannot be disciples of Christ without both following and learning. If I may repeat what I said last week, it is no accident that one of Jesus’ main activities on earth was teaching.
  6. God’s primary revelation to humans is in the form of a book. It’s such an obvious fact, we might miss what it implies: books are for studying.
  7. Study and learning are directly commanded in Scripture, 2 Timothy 2:15.
  8. Knowledge is good in itself.
  9. Truth is good in itself. Truth can be known in part without thinking Christianly, but whatever ignores, sets aside, or denies God’s revelation cannot approach the fulness of truth God calls us to know and to follow.
  10. Thoughtful error must be countered with thoughtful truth (1 Corinthians 10:3-5; Jude 3-4).

C.S. Lewis put that final point this way in The Weight of Glory.:

“To be ignorant and simple now — not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground — would be to throw down our weapons and betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”

(Are there more than ten reasons? Is there more that could be said? Sure! I’m using this short-post format as a break from my usual longer articles.)

Series Navigation (Basic Discipleship of the Mind):<<< Thinking Christianly: Ten Essential AspectsWilberforce: Real Christianity, Discipling Our Minds >>>
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2 thoughts on “Ten Reasons To Think Christianly

  1. Tom:

    To an otherwise excellent post, I propose a correction to avoid Hobbes’ disordered vision of “knowledge is power.” “Knowledge” (as opposed to wisdom) is not a good (or end) in itself because knowledge must be ordered to the true, the good, the beautiful. As such, knowledge serves something beyond it, not itself. (Wisdom is the highest possible knowledge, but not all knowledge is wisdom.)

    Similar reasoning applies to “happiness” as well: Happiness should not be a goal in itself–it is an outcome of knowing and doing the good, the true, the beautiful. Happiness is certainly enjoyed by the person who “has” it, but it is not good in itself but only under the condition that a man’s conduct conforms with the moral law.

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