One Second ......
 
 
Part One - Why the mind matters in Christianity
 
Chapter 1 – How we lost the Christian Mind and why we much recover it
pp. 19-40
 
The Christian right is populated by dumb, uninformed people who are easily lead by rhetoric – quote by a politician
 
Hero’s are replaced with celebrities, makeup for effective speech, elections by sound-byte, etc., etc…we have lost our salt and Christianity has become marginalized
 
We (society) have become anti-intellectual with the church leading the way.
 
Loss of the Christian Mind in American Christianity – began in the middle of the nineteenth (1800’) century – Puritans enjoyed an 89-95% literacy rate, founded colleges and glorified God with their minds.  Ministers were sought after, respected, learned individuals…Ignorance was thought to be heretic….
 
This began to change with the influence of George Whitefield (pronounced Whitfield) - First great awakening 1730-1750, and grew with the second great awakening 1800-1820, the revivals of Charles Finney 1824-1837, and the Layman’s Prayer revival 1856-1858 – all of which contributed to the “dumbing” down of following Christ – overemphasis on the immediate personal conversion replaced a studied period of thought, growth, reflection, etc…anti intellectualism was born and the church held on…..
 
Two of three major American cults – Mormonism 1830 and Jehovah’s Witnesses 1884 were born as a result of the foothold that anti-intellectualism held.  People who were saved often had no basis or understanding of what that meant.
 
At that same time philosophical ideas from Europe – those of David Hume 1711-1776 and Immanuel Kant 1724-1804 – altered people understanding of religion and along with the rise of popular conversion the church, instead if defending itself from the onslaught – packed up and “hid itself” from mainstream society.  Hume claimed that since we cannot experience God with our five senses our knowledge of Him is not firm.  Kant claimed that our knowledge is limited to what we experience with our five senses and since we cannot experience God he must not exist – These influences changed the way the Europeans and Americans thought of God, religion, prayer, and so much more.  German higher criticism of the Bible called its historical relevance into question and believers became and still are suspicious of things we “cannot see”…. Darwinism also played a role and made the world safe for atheists -  
 
An increased emphasis was placed on the Holy Spirit in understanding the Bible – opposed to serious historical, grammatical and all other study of the Bible p. 24
 
At the turn of the nineteenth century fundamental Christians withdrew from the broader intellectual culture and built there own churches, schools, universities – we are now so deeply committed to a certain way of seeing, believing, feeling, knowing and talking about faith that it is embedded at a subconscious level – we don not often talk about such “things” as if the depth of doing so is an enormous task “just not worth doing”…….however, our understanding of Christian practices underlies everything else we do……….from selecting a minister, church, books, how we raise our children, spending  our money,  it shapes our involvement, goals and priority of our local church and is – IS – an expression of what we actually believe……modern understanding of Christianity is not Biblical.
 
Anti-intellectualism impact on the Church
 
Read & memorize Romans 12:1-2
 
Five characteristics of the impact of AI
 
1.    Misunderstanding of faith’s relationship to reason – faith today is something that is thought of a blind act of will…with little or no understanding of either,…much less faith.  Biblically, faith is a power or skill to act in accordance with the nature of the kingdom of God p25.
 
2.    Separation of the secular and the sacred – the with drawl of the corporate body of church from the public or so-called secular activities of life.
 
3.    Weakened Missions – Central African leader said to stop sending evangelists to his country – their efforts were producing negative (Marxism).
 
4.    Anti-intellectualism has spawned an irrelevant Gospel – We share the Gospel today as a means of addressing felt needs – there are those who not in touch with and/or ignore their feelings and needs, thus this approach is futile…..Every person has a need for Christ’s forgiveness and power….
 
5.    A loss of boldness confronting the idea structures in our culture with effective Christian witness - we are drained of our boldness and confidence to witness boldly especially about important issues in places where ideas are generated.
 
The emergence of a secular culture in which the church is called to live and minister – p. 32
 
Culture is secular – most people have little or no understanding of a Christian way of seeing the world.  Three major centers of influence in our culture – the university, the media and the government – are largely void of serious religious discussion.
 
Secularism is primarily a view about knowledge – Knowledge is solely obtained by means of the senses and science – seeing is believing.  Science is the measure of all things…..scientists speak ex cathedra and we listen to them.  Science was born in Christian Europe because Christian theology helped provide worldview justification for its assumptions p. 34.
 
 
 
Secular views of knowledge are responsible for unfortunate social trends
 
Traditional understanding of morality and related notions are considered passé today – the lean is toward moral and religious relativism.
 
The Good life as we know it today is NOT at all the good life lead by those in the OT through the early 1800’s…….during this time the good life was wisely understood to mean a life if intellectual and moral virtue.  Freedom was thought of, as the power to do what one ought to do.
 
The traditional view is neither scientifically testable nor easily compatible with evolution - this belief has caused many to lose their belief in the existence of natures – human or otherwise.
 
Secular ideas have replaced the traditional view – This is true
 
We must rededicate ourselves to being deeply spiritual people of whom it can be said that “Christ is formed in you” Gal 4:19.  In the OT wisdom was a marker of someone’s spiritual maturity – a spiritually mature person is a wise person.
 
 
 
 
 
Study Notes From J. P. Moreland’s - Love Your God With All Your Mind.