Reflections September 2010 - Using Your Head

September 2010

Using Your Head

or many years, there has been a bias against the mind in the Evangelical world. It has often been considered unspiritual to make use of the mind in matters of faith. But failing to use our minds to fullest capacity, however well-intended, is both unbiblical and unspiritual. And it has contributed significantly to the marginalization of biblical thinking in American public life.
C.S. Lewis, who is often said to have made the greatest impact for Christ in the twentieth century, did so precisely because he used his mind fully in reliance upon the Holy Spirit. His comments on prudence and the proper use of the mind are a much needed corrective for believers today:

Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it. Nowadays most people hardly think of Prudence as one of the ‘virtues’. In fact, because Christ said we could only get into His world by being like children, many Christians have the idea that, provided you are ‘good’, it does not matter being a fool. But that is a misunderstanding. In the first place, most children show plenty of ‘prudence’ about doing the things they are really interested in, and think them out quite sensibly. In the second place, as St. Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves’, but also ‘as wise as serpents’. He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim. The fact that you are giving money to a charity does not mean that you need not try to find out whether that charity is a fraud or not. The fact that what you are thinking about is God Himself (for example, when you are praying) does not mean that you can be content with the same babyish ideas which you had when you were a five-year-old. It is, of course, quite true that God will not love you any the less, or have less use for you, if you happen to have been born with a very second-rate brain. He has room for people with very little sense, but He wants every one to use what sense they have.

If ever there was a time when believers needed to use their minds fully in matters ranging from daily living to our understanding of God, the Bible, the church, and our proper response to the great issues of the day, that time is now.

 

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (New York: Touchstone, 1996), pp 74-75.


© 2013 C.S. Lewis Institute. “Reflections” is published monthly by the C.S. Lewis Institute.
8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301 • Springfield, VA 22151-2110 • 703.914.5602 • 800.813.9209 • fax 703.894.1072 • www.cslewisinstitute.org

To view a pdf version of this "Reflections," please click here.

To go to the "Reflections" archives, please click here.

 
Support Discipleship
Come partner with us in the
call to develop disciples for Christ!

Learn More

 
 
Discipleship Resources
Audios, videos, publications, &
small group DVDs for heart & mind

Learn More

 
 
Events
Find discipleship conferences
and events in your area.

Learn More

 
 
Fellows Program
Do you want to experience the
power of a transformed life?

Learn More

 

Connection Points is the teaching ministry of Randy Newman, Senior Teaching Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism at C.S. Lewis Institute. This blog explores the links between the Christian faith and all of life and encourages exploration of common ground between Christians and those with other beliefs. This content can also be found at
http://www.connectionpoints.us

  • 21 Evangelism Lessons for the 21st Century – Lesson 5
    When people ask me what major lessons I learned while conducting interviews of new convert... Read more

  • 21 Evangelism Lessons for the 21st Century – Lesson 4
    In this series of blogs I’ve been sharing some things I concluded after interviewing 40 ... Read more

  • 21 Evangelism Lessons for the 21st Century – Lesson 3
    The gospel is a rich, multifaceted gem – like a priceless diamond. We dare not reduc... Read more

  • 21 Evangelism Lessons for the 21st Century – Lesson 2
    The first lesson from my research about evangelism is that conversion is a communal experi... Read more

  • 21 Evangelism Lessons for the 21st Century
    This is the first of a series of blogs I plan to write about evangelism based on the resea... Read more