Skip to comments.How to Encourage Intellectual Christians in the Evangelical Church
Posted on 02/23/2016 6:21:59 PM PST by truthfinder9
"The church is always more than a school. . . . But the church cannot be less than a school."
- Jaroslav Pelikan, Yale historical theologian1
Being an idea-oriented, bookish, and cerebral-type of Christian can have its challenges. Often times, intellectually inclined believers find it hard to fit into their local evangelical church.2 This difficulty usually arises because the life of the mind is not often identified as a high church priority. So, unfortunately too many churches within the broad sweep of evangelicalism are, to use Pelikanâs words, "less than a school."
Parts of the evangelical theological tradition have struggled with the idea that the intense pursuit of the life of the mind is somehow at odds with Christian spirituality.3 Worse still, some congregations even exhibit anti-intellectualism, especially in their understanding of the critical relationship between faith and reason.
Thinkers often feel out of place within the evangelical church. As a result, many educated evangelicals are turning to other sources for support in their pursuit of the life of the mind. Some have embraced Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy because they view these theological traditions as possessing greater depth in terms of history, philosophy, the arts, and science. Some evangelical converts Iâve talked to have said they feel their newfound church tradition welcomes their commitment to the life of the mind, rather than viewing it with suspicion.
(Excerpt) Read more at reasons.org ...
> theological traditions
Never a sure path to follow. One follows what they see and perceive as the truth. Traditions come and traditions go while the truth comes with time.
Having grown up in a conservative church that encouraged thinking; I have found it exceptionally hard to find a good church that both encourages research of the Bible and bases it’s teaching on the Bible; and has an outgoing and friendly atmosphere. I have found 1 or the other.
It seems like a choice between emotional churches that teach nothing of history and firm scripture or theologically sound churches where people are not friendly.
In some cases, study leads to feelings of superiority and judge mentalist.
Live longer, endure life’s problems. Stay with God.
I travel quite a bit. Two years ago I attended a service in an evangelical church during lent. It was the Sunday this denomination observed communion/Lord’s Supper. The pastor informed people that they were welcome to receive communion ‘if they felt they needed it’. No, I’m sorry, but communion is for baptized Christians only. If evangelical clergy don’t grasp this, then they will absolutely get their asses kicked on the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the attack point for muslim apologetics. The book they need to read is Michael Reeves’ Delighting in the Trinity- an introduction to the Christian Faith. The whole ‘corporate model’ thing has been an utter disaster and it’s time to call it such.
“If what we claim about Jesus Christ is true, then evangelicals should be among the most active, most serious, and most open-minded advocates of general human learning. Evangelical hesitation about scholarship in general or about pursuing learning wholeheartedly is, in other words, antithetical to the Christ-centered basis of evangelical faith.”
There is something about poor uneducated folks that engenders great faith. The poor uneducated Catholics and Orthodox are generally more pious than those that aren’t. Same holds true for ‘not Catholic or Orthodox Christians,’ at least that I have observed. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a great many smarty pants, like GK Chesterton, or CS Lewis. It would be interesting what definition this guy gives to the ‘Evangelical Church.’
Thinkers are more objective (and more reliable in explaining what the Holy Spirit is trying to convey through the Holy Writings).
Emoters are more subjective (and tend to remain more infantile, unwilling to dedicate themselves to discipleship, to growing up spiritually).
While sadly, there is some truth to what the author says here, there is a danger of intellectualizing God and missing the relationship aspect of knowing Him.
There’s a world of difference between knowing about someone and knowing them. How sad it would be if someone thought they were saved because they knew about God, thinking that that was enough, without having the new birth.
I fear that those who tend to intellectualize can miss the knowing God because of knowing about Him. That they confuse knowing about Him with knowing Him.
You cannot intellectualize love or relationship. I can teach someone about God but I cannot experience Him for them. It’s something they have to experience themselves.
And while too many people favor experience above all else, they are in danger, too of being deceived.
God created both our hearts and our minds and we are to love Him with both.
And we have the mind of Christ.
The apostle Paul is a great example of a brilliant mind who KNEW God, showing that the two are not incompatible as we seem to think they are these days.
Tell me about it!
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In others; LACK of study leads to feelings of superiority and judgementalism.
Got documentation for this?
As a halfway 'intellectual'; I like to look things up.
Kinda like them thar Bereans did; way back when.
A larger list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontrinitarianism
And need a Mother to look after them.
Those of the more intellectual bent find comfort in the teachings of others like them.
It's not that they're less friendly--it's that they can be less socially outward. I know that's the way I am. I have a difficult time approaching new people--not because I'm less friendly, but it's an awkward (for me) social situation. Once I get to know people, I'm very friendly.
I agree with you. The church I attend has a large number of engineers. The running joke is: How can you spot an extroverted engineer? He looks at the other guy’s shoes when talking.
As if men like Jonathan Edwards, Martyn Lloyd Jones, Charles Spurgeon and multitude others were not intellectuals for Christ, and Luther himself held the status of doctor, while the Puritans certainly did not consider the intellectual aspect to be superfluous, but fostered it in service to Christ.
Harvard College Lawes of 1642
[from New England's First Fruits; emp. mine]
1. When any Schollar is able to Read Tully or such like classicall Latine Author ex tempore, and make and speake true Latin in verse and prose suo (ut aiunt) Marte, and decline perfectly the paradigmes of Nounes and verbes in the Greeke tongue, then may hee bee admitted into the College, nor shall any claime admission before such qualifications. [like modern SAT scores, such a requirement indicated the level of education one had received, and achieved. This served practical purposes of course, as copies of Scripture and other classics were also still mostly in Greek.]
2. Every one shall consider the mayne End of his life and studyes, to know God and Jesus Christ which is Eternall life. Joh. 17.3. [Today, personal as well as intellectual ignorance of the Biblical Christ abounds among Harvard students.]
3. Seeing the Lord giveth wisdome, every one shall seriously by prayer in secret, seeke wisdome of him. prov. 2.2,3 etc. [Instead, Harvard today militates against such Biblical wisdom , and peity. Today, if any activity is done "in secret," it is fornication (1 out 4 women have an STD).
4. Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day that they bee ready to give an account of their proficiency therein, both in theoreticall observations of Language and Logicke, and in practicall and spirituall truthes as their tutor shall require according to their severall abilities respectively, seeing the Entrance of the word giveth light etc. psal. 119, 130. [The goal here was to produce "able ministers of the New Testament" (2Cor. 3:6), "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2Tim. 2:15). Today, the Bible is almost wholly abandoned as the literal and authoritative Word of God, and the very deceptions Harvard was founded to prevent abound therein!]
5. In the publicke Church assembly they shall carefully shunne all gestures that shew any contempt or neglect of Gods ordinances and bee ready to give an account to their tutors of their profiting and to use the helpes of Storing themselves with knowledge, as their tutours shall direct them, and all Sophisters and Bachellors (until themselves make common place) shall publiquely repeate Sermons in the Hall whenver they are called forth. [Rather than this being the goal of Harvard, the inculcation of unBibical worldviews is fostered, and rare is the professor who would dare declare the Biblical gospel and morality, or the student who could or would do likewise.]
6. they shall eschew all prophanation of Gods holy name, attributes, word, ordinances, and times of worship, and study with Reverence and love carefully to reteine God and his truth in their minds. [This is of little to no concern in Harvard today, rather the "faith once delivered" (Jude v.3) is little esteemed, and if one comes into Harvard with such faith, he will be sorely challanged to keep it! Sports, college parties, etc., not Bible studies, are what students mostly flock to.]
7. they shall honour as their parents, Magistrates, Elders, tutours and aged persons, by beeing silent in their presence (except they bee called on to answer) not gainesaying shewing all those laudable expressions of honour and Reverence in their presence, that are in uses as bowing before them standing uncovered or the like. [Rather than promoting reverence toward authority, Harvard has joined the bulk of other "Intititutions of Higher Learning" in fostering rebellion toward those who represent just authority, under the guise of protesting injustice, and in such protests reveal their own dearth of wisdom which usually comes with age.
8. they shall be slow to speake, and eschew not onely oathes, Lies, and uncertaine Rumours, but likewise all idle, foolish, bitter scoffing, frothy wanton words and offensive gestures. [Today, if one would dare uphold Bible truth and morality at Harvard, such as reproves the like of irreverend Peter Gomes, he/she will see quickly how the above law has been abandonded].
Harvard College Laws of 1700
(Source: Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana,Volume II)
STATUTES, LAWS AND PRIVILEGES, APPROVED AND SANCTIONED BY THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE AT CAMBRIDGE IN NEW ENGLAND: TO WHICH BOTH SCHOLARS AND STUDENTS, CANDIDATES FOR ADMISSION AS WELL AS THOSE ADMITTED, ARE REQUIRED TO CONFORM, FOR THE PROMOTION OF LEARNING AND GOOD MORALS.
1. Everyone competent to read Cicero or any other classic author of that kind extemporaneously, and also to speak and write Latin prose and verse with tolerable skill and without assistance, and of declining the Greek nouns and verbs, may expect to be admitted to the College: if deficient in any of these qualifications, he cannot under any circumstances be admitted.
2. All persons admitted to the College must board at the Commons, and must each pay three pounds to the steward on their entrance, and must discharge all arrears at the end of every three months; nor shall any under-graduate of the institution be allowed to board out of the College, unless by special permission of the President, or his tutor. If leave to do so shall be granted by either of these officers, the student shall faithfully observe the usual rules of the Common; but if any evey shall leave College for private quarters, without permission of the President or Tutor, he shall not enjoy any privilege of the institution.
3. While the youth is here, he will be required to be diligent, and to observe study-hours with the same strictness as he does those of public recitation.
4. Every student must regard it as his duty to attend all College exercises, secular and religious, public and private. While in the Freshman class, he must speak in public on the stage eight times a year. Sophisters [sophomores] must be present at a public debate twice a week. Both bachelors and sophisters must write out an analysis in some branch of sacred literature: bachelors will discuss in public philosophical questions once a fortnight, under the superintendence of the President: in the President's absence, the two senior tutors will act as a moderator by turns.
5. No one must, under any pretext, be found in the society of any depraved or dissolute person.
6. No one in the lower class shall leave town without express permission from the President or tutors: nor shall any student, to whatever class he may belong, visit any shop or tavern, to eat and drink, unless invited by a parent, guardian, step-parent, or some such relative.
More by God's grace
Yeah, not exactly dim bulbs or whatever.
Got documentation for this? Unless you are simply objecting to the baptized aspect, that is like asking for documentation that wedding celebrations are only for married and faithful spouses. For the Lord's Supper is to communally remember the Lord's death with other members of the body of Christ which He bought with His sinless shed blood, showing/declaring His death and the love behind it by charitably sharing bread with other that were bought by that blood. And thus to selfishly feed oneself independent of others, even shaming them by leaving them hungry, was to not eat the Lord's supper, and to not recognize the body of Christ, the church, as they treated members of it as if they were unclean. (See 1Cor. 10,11. by God's grace.)
As for the baptized aspect, faith is akin to confessing the Lord Jesus with the mouth, except in this case it is done by body language, and while it is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness, and which is counted for righteousness (Rm. 4:5) if it is the kind of faith that will effect works, (Rm. 2:13; 8:4) yet as baptism is to testify to that faith then thus it is uses as the mark of conversion, of for assurance of salvation, though in time it simply became a mere ritual in many Western countries.
Bible Study Fellowship https://www.bsfinternational.org/
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