|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Think for yourself”
We have a serious problem in American Christianity which has been developing for decades and which continues to get worse by the day. The problem is that Christians aren’t thinking for themselves. Or, we’re not thinking very deeply.
The problem manifests itself in three primary ways. The first is that many Christians are content with superficial thinking, especially with respect to their knowledge of Scripture and their ability to apply Scripture to life situations. The second way in which Christians are not thinking, or thinking correctly, is we have become too susceptible to cultural pressures, thereby allowing culture to determine how we practice our faith rather than our faith shaping how we interact with society. And the third way in which Christians aren’t thinking for themselves is that they allow others to do their thinking for them. They decide that they have full trust in a preacher or Bible teacher, or increasingly, in a politician or a political party, and so they simply accept whatever truths that individual or group promotes.
If you want an indication of how serious this problem has become, just do a quick survey of the Christian literature market to get a feel for the kinds of books and magazine and newspaper articles Christian leaders are publishing to sound the alarm about this problem. Here’s a sampling of books which I have read recently and which I will be referring to in the devotional messages in the coming month: “Think” by John Piper; “The Coddling of the American Mind” by Lukianoff and Haidt; “The Sky is not Falling” by Chuck Colson; “Thou Shalt Not Be A Jerk” by Eugene Cho; “Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage: by Dan Crenshaw; and “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” by Mark Noll.
According to Mark Noll, “the scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind”. As a noted Christian historian, he found that compared to previous generations, we have become complacent and lazy in our thinking. Our knowledge of scripture is superficial and our ability to engage in critical thinking is limited. Rather than doing the heavy intellectual lifting of thinking through the tough issues of our day and applying a Biblical worldview to them, we either just don’t bother, or we’re satisfied with children’s Bible stories and bumper sticker slogans, or we allow others to do our thinking for us and then we simply fall in line and follow along with whatever they tell us we should think (This is where cults of personality come from).
In Romans 12:2 Paul’s premise was that Christians will think deeply and by doing so, the Holy Spirit will then transform our minds. But it does require thoughtful study, deep thinking, and intentional effort. All this month we will explore this idea of what it means to think for ourselves.
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