There has perhaps never been a time in history that requires us to think more deeply than today. We must have prayerful constructive thinking that always falls upon Biblical lines. Even the teachings of Jesus appeal to us on an intellectual level. Christ told us to “Know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The very essence of faith is contemplative. By that I mean, when you think of your true Savior, you see in him things that are so beautiful, compelling, and trustworthy that you simply must trust him. Faith is a response to something out there that requires thought and knowledge. God did not promise freedom to the person who just thought about the truth of his revelation, but to the person who knew the truth.
Dear Christian, perhaps its time you focused on the life of the mind in order to know God better. It is our knowledge of God that drives our love for God. I fear that in today’s Christian environment we focus on emotions and experience and neglect the careful practice of thought. Thinking is not just important in our Christian walk it is an indispensible element that drives us on our pathway of sanctification.
While we can adhere to this theology of thought we must also admit that it can be taken too far. In saying that we must strive to think we are not saying that there is some hidden knowledge that can only be revealed through careful study. Paul battled Gnostics who claimed to possess a special knowledge that enlightened them of God more than the average man. In more recent history there have been cultic groups who have sprung up claiming that all other religions may have glimpsed the spirit of the supernatural aspects of being; but they perceived, that is knew, the truth. Such is the case of Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, Muhammad and the philosophers and thinkers who heralded and followed these false teachers.
This knowledge of the danger of going to far with this should not, however, cause us to abandon the pathway of careful study. A pursuit of the knowledge of God is both a commendable and noble pursuit. The goal and deep foundation of this pursuit is to know God better and see all the tasks flowing from that fundamental relationship with Him. Put it this way: The more I know God the more I will seek to serve God. In that sense Christian virtue cannot be taught strictly speaking but it can be cultivated through a knowledgeable and intentional commitment to your relationship with God.
Did you know that right knowledge of the Scripture is not just the Pastor’s responsibility? You have a real responsibility to be diligent in your study of the Bible. Every member of the church should seek to know how to teach the Bible’s truths, apply its wisdom, and practice its principles for living. The best theological training does not itself make us men or women of God. But being men and women who seek to honor God in all that we do, we should be willing to pay the cost personally to dig as deep into the word of God as we can.
So why write about thinking? Is it really that big of a deal? I have become increasingly convinced over the past few years that we live in a biblically illiterate society. Sadly, this biblical illiteracy has flowed right over from the world and now permeates the church. Christians have become content to do their devotions without any intent of digging into the word. In an increasingly hurried world where our attention spans are routinely shortened, time itself has become a rare commodity. Taking time out of our busy days to actually sit down and think has hit the bottom of our list of priorities. Yet, the Lord still calls men and women of the faith to “rightly handle the Word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:14). Perhaps its time we all take our thinking caps out and really dive into the Word.
Posted by Caleb