Christianity recognizes and affirms the importance of the intellect. The life of the mind is understood to be a central issue of Christian discipleship. The Christian is not only to live in obedience to Christ, but is also to serve Christ through the development of a distinctively Christian mind.
All too many Christians ignore the intellectual component of discipleship. This tragic reality betrays a misunderstanding of the gospel, for the gospel of Jesus Christ requires cognitive understanding. In other words, there is a knowledge that is central to the Christian faith. As the apostle Paul makes clear in Romans 10, faith comes by hearing, and that faith is established upon truth claims that are nonnegotiable and necessary for salvation.
Christian faithfulness requires the development of the believer’s intellectual capacities in order that we may understand the Christian faith, develop habits of Christian thought, form intuitions that are based upon biblical truth, and live in faithfulness to all that Christ teaches. This is no easy task, to be sure. Just as Christian discipleship requires growth and development, intellectual faithfulness requires a lifetime of devoted study, consecrated thinking, and analytical reflection.The Great Vision of Christian Education—Ten Foundational Truths.” I highly commend this article to parents, teachers, and children’s and youth ministry leaders. Here is his overarching premise:
Christian education is as big as God and his revelation. It goes beyond parenting and teachers and classroom instruction to infuse every aspect of the Christian life. It involves not merely donning gospel-centered glasses when we study “spiritual” subjects, but being filled by the very presence of almighty God as we seek by his Spirit to interpret all of reality in light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
(Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)