Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Think with reasonable thinking

I continued with NT Wright's After You Believe for my devotion reading this morning and it was about the renewal of the mind, in Romans 12:1-2.

I like to think. Well, it is the number two theme in my Gallup StrengthsFinder report. And so I learnt a lot from this short portion of his thoughts on the topic, and I like what he said, interpreting Paul: "what matters is thinking...Don’t overthink what you ought to think, but think with reasonable thinking."

There other interesting quotes from my reading are as follows:
When Paul talks about the “mind,” he is not ranking Christians in terms of what we would call their intellectual or “academic” ability. Some Christians have that sort of mind. Plenty of others don’t.

"The way the world is" is a powerful, insidious force, and it takes all the energy of new creation, not least of faith and hope, to remind oneself that the age to come really is already here, with all its new possibilities and prospects.

The antidote to the power of the present age, then, is to have the mind renewed so that one can think clearly about the way of life which is pleasing to God, which is in accordance with God’s will, good and acceptable and (here it is again) “perfect,” teleios, complete.

Abraham is the beginning of the truly human person. He is the one who, in faith which Paul sees as the true antecedent of Christian faith, allows his thinking and believing to be determined, not by the way the world is, and not by the way his own body is, but by the promises and actions of God.

For Paul, the mind is central to Christian character: virtue is the result of thought and choice.

I believe, is that talk about the freedom of the Spirit, about the grace which sweeps us off our feet and heals and transforms our lives, has been taken over surreptitiously by a kind of low-grade romanticism, colluding with an anti-intellectual streak in our culture, generating the assumption that the more spiritual you are, the less you need to think...I cannot stress too strongly that this is a mistake. The more genuinely spiritual you are, according to Romans 12 and Philippians 1, the more clearly and accurately and carefully you will think, particularly about what the completed goal of your Christian journey will be and hence what steps you should be taking, what habits you should be acquiring, as part of the journey toward that goal, right now.


1 comment:

  1. I think that some do not allow logic to enter into the reading of scripture. In place of thinking we allow simplistic constructs like inerrancy to guide the way that we interact with the bible. In doing so we miss so much of what the scriptures can teach us.