Loving God with your Intellect
Strong and Courageous Blog
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He (Jesus) said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” Luke Chapter 10: 26-28 (ESV)
Today I would like to address the idea of using your mind to completely love and honor God. The very notion of using our intellect to be pleasing to God is somehow discerned to be “nonspiritual” to some people. This can be almost to the point of thinking that you can only choose one or the other. Either you can be spiritual or you can be intellectual, but you cannot be both. The theological term for this position is called Fideism. It is not important to remember the terminology here, but it is helpful to realize that we can be spiritual and also use our intellect at the same time.
The definition of Fideism is a theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths. The word Fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith and literally means “faith-ism”
I believe that there is a subtle danger in holding to this position. I would agree that faith plays a critical part of our relationship with Christ. The scriptures say that without faith, it is impossible to be pleasing to God. However, this does not preclude us from using our intellect in the process of faith. Jesus said for us to go into the world and preach the gospel, teaching others to obey all of his commands. This implies for us to use our intellectual capacity to teach and evangelize.
Part of the concern over this is for our young people in the church. As our children grow older and prepare to enter into University without using their intellect in a spiritual capacity, they are vulnerable to a secular attack on their Christian World-view. This is one of the main purposes of this blog is to inform our people how amazing the Creator God is, and that a materialistic world-view cannot explain the beauty and complexity of all that we see around us. They don’t have a clue, and we do not have to be afraid of any of their arguments. The probability of a secular humanistic view that excludes God being correct is absolutely zero. There is no possible way that unguided chance could account for the exquisite design of our universe.