Like all discipleship, this is not meant to be a solo undertaking. In some communities you may need to take leadership in this arena.
Discipleship In Community Following Christ is a community matter. Learning to love God with all our minds is no different than learning to love him in any other way: we weren’t meant to go it alone. The famous passage on renewing of our minds, Romans 12:1-2, is followed immediately by extended teaching on life in Christian community. If I may be permitted to skip one verse for a moment, Romans 12:4-5 reads,
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
And that introduces five chapters’ worth of instruction on life in the body. The verse I skipped there might be of special interest, actually, to Christians who tend to be more interested in the life of the mind:
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Intellectual interests too often are paired with a sense of intellectual superiority. Of course we are all different and have different gifts, but this is according to God’s grace, and it means all believers are gifted by God, though not all in the same way (Romans 12:6-8):
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Paul goes on to mark the real point (Romans 12:9-11):
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
In terms of our relationship with the community of believers, all discipleship has one purpose: serving in love.
Building Up One Another We grow in community by building one another up: encouraging, exhorting, teaching one another in love. An unexercised mind will grow flabby. We need to test and challenge each other with the genuine difficulties of the Bible and culture.
Now, I wish I had some really excellent examples from local churches to tell you about. I have heard of them: a church in Winchester, Virginia, and another one in McLean where mind-discipleship is taken seriously. I know they exist; but I have not had much direct experience with such churches. There are several in my current church with a zeal for this, but finding opportunities for real fellowship on this level has not always been easy. The typical adult Protestant Sunday School is misnamed, in my view: if it were really school, there would be more obvious interest in expanding members’ horizons of knowledge. Quizzes, anyone? But no.
Taking Leadership This is why I have suggested you may have to take leadership. My wife and I have led one Truth Project group and are in the middle of a second one. The fellowship there is outstanding. If you have opportunity to join a group or to be trained in leading it, don’t miss it! You could also start a study group or a (real) Sunday School class on some more challenging material, like anything from C.S. Lewis, Keller’s The Reason for God, Grudem’s Systematic Theology, or any of Strobel’s books on apologetics. I’ve heard excellent things about Reasonable Faith chapters, too, though I have not seen any first-hand.
The Broader Community Fellowship may be broader than one’s own church. You might try going to an apologetics conference, like the one coming up in just a few days in Chesapeake, Virginia. Finally, there is the online community: not the real thing, but a proxy version of it, and a place to connect with people with special interests in particular topics.
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