I was at a conference this past weekend where a Pastor said something interesting. He said that we as Christians oftentimes are good at loving God with our hearts, but not our minds. That’s been rolling around in my head the past few days.
Some would dispute this:
but I think the evidence is stacked. Think about the voices we as Christians often look to. On Science, there are many intelligent good-faith advocates for intelligent design and Creationism, but Ken Ham tends to produce shoddy evidence and bad arguments. Many good people are doing great work as Historians, and none of them are named David Barton or Dinesh D’Souza. There’s lots of good journalism being done on religion in the public square, and none of it is coming from Todd Starnes. It is a big problem that the only voices a class of Christians hears on these topics are these or those who have been heavily influenced by these names.
It’s not just these areas where Christians are buying in to convenient narratives over truth. Recently, a list of the top 100 Christian books sold in 2016 came out. These are mostly shallow works that often conflict with the Bible. If we’re lacking in evangelistic furor, it should be pretty clear that it’s not because we’re reading too many good books. Also, think about the CCM industry. A lot of the music Christians listen to is practically fluff. We consume “Christian” products that essentially ignore the difficult parts of the Bible.
For example, I have been reading through the Sermon on the Mount. I love the Beatitudes and how much comfort they give when I’m tempted to despair or am facing difficult circumstances. How many times do we read the Sermon on the Mount, though, and ignore where Jesus tells us that hatred and anger is equal to murder? Or that lust is a sin like adultery? Or that anything more than our yes being yes and no being no is from the evil one? Or how about that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There’s a lot there that gets uncomfortable really quickly.
This is just a random thought, but I think we can start to solve the problem of how to Love God with our minds broadly if we solve the problem theologically. We need pastors who are willing to preach difficult sermons and direct mature believers towards theologically rigorous material. We need Christian media that focuses on the difficult portions of scripture. Most of all, we need to be people of the whole word, and not people who gloss over difficult passages that hit too close to home.
Then, as our consciences are being shaped by scripture and we are maturing in Christ, we should find ourselves becoming better in other areas. Scripture should point us to God and shape our love for Him. God loves the truth, and in fact, Jesus is Truth. Thus, as we are becoming more like Him, we should also be more curious about what the truth is and less willing to buy into cheap narratives with little factual information to back them up. We shouldn’t pretend that mature Christians will completely agree on everything, but we should at least agree that believers should be interested in the truth and will be interested in pursuing it.