Brainless Faith? Impossible.

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While I don’t believe that "faith in Christ" is dependent on my ability to explain the unexplainable, understand the mysterious, and comprehend the unfathomable, (it is, after all,the substance of things unseen) I don’t believe intelligence should be/can be discarded in the process.  Christians have as much, if not more, intellectual ground to stand on than the secular world view that uses "science" as the authority of understanding.  It is only in the past hundred to two-hundred years or so that Christianity has been dismissed as an authority  and replaced with science, education, etc.  If you don’t believe this, how many times can you remember a Christian, minister, or theologian being interviewed by CNN or some news network as an authority figure about  issues like the economy, diplomatic relations, physics, film making, the arts, the environment, politics, science?   In the words of the old Christian comedy team, Isaac Airfreight, "pepul tink wur dumm!"  On the contrary, authentic Christian faith is NOT void of intelligence. There is a reason that the Bible says faith comes by hearing.  It is because everything we believe about God MUST enter the mind.  While this doesn’t imply that the mind is the final resting place of knowledge, we must realize that TRUE faith cannot be realized without the intellect.  Discipleship to Christ will never be obtained without a faithful decision/commitment based on Biblical information.  Yes, as I Corinthians 13 tells us, "without love, knowledge passes away", but we couldn’t even follow this principle without basic knowledge of it. This doesn’t imply that only people with high IQs or vast intelligence can come to Christ, yet following Christ is a highly intelligent thing to do! In fact, if knowledge and intelligence are unnecessary, than the Bible is unnecessary. 

The Church: No intelligence = No relevance

Many evangelical churches today are striving for relevance as a replacement for intelligence.  There is nothing wrong with relevance until it makes knowledge of scripture irrelevant to authentic faith.  I think the most important thing to remember is that God and His Holy Scripture ARE relevant, and there is nothing we need to do to make it MORE relevant.  The lost world is in need of redemption, forgiveness, and purification and there is nothing more relevant than the Word of God.  We need to be very careful in our methods of relevance so they do not override the message that we are called to preach.  If we replace the gospel of Christ with a "personal fulfillment" message ie…financial success, parenting success, moral improvement, etc, then we have allowed our desire to be relevant to dilute the gospel that the lost world needs to hear.  If preaching the gospel results in minimal church growth, then so be it. 

Faith is blind, not stupid.

If you see a blind man walking down the street without a dog, is he foolish to do so because he’s blind? No, he’s foolish because he isn’t trusting outside help to get him where he needs to go.  Likewise, Christians aren’t dumb because we believe in something unseen, but we are extremely foolish if our "belief" doesn’t result in trusting help outside of our blind selves.

Check out this article by Dallas Willard, who being a professor in a highly respected university (USC), stands alone as a Christian thinker in the midst of an environment of anti-Christian ideals on a daily basis. This is a short but difficult read, but be willing to stretch your mind and think.  God is worshiped and honored when we exercise our minds.

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