Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Christian Mind

I just finished reading Harry Blamires' book, The Christian Mind. Very interesting, especially considering it was published in 1963. The book challenges Christians to evaluate whether they think about things in a Christian context or if they unknowingly think of things in a humanistic, worldly context. I was very convicted by this as I recognized areas of my thinking that was very humanistic and not Christian, especially in areas that I would consider not related to church. I found his postscript very interesting, especially considering this was written 46 years ago. I will share a few excerpts:

"No one can think deeply about the issue investigated in this book without sensing the possible approach of a crisis in Western civilization of a kind that is not being publicly anticipated. For, nuclear disaster apart, increasing mass-education, alongside increasing material well-being and accelerating pursuit of it, is going to make secularism consciously and articulately secularist. And this turn will challenge Christians to be more consciously and articulately Christian. The question is, will the Christians of the next fifty years, over and against strengthened secularism, deepen and clarify their Christian commitment in a withdrawn cultivation of personal morality and spirituality, thereby achieving the kind of uneasy co-existence of Church and State? Or will the Christian of the next fifty years deepen and clarify their Christian commitment at the intellectual and social levels too, meeting and challenging not only secularism's assault on personal morality and life of the soul, but also secularism's truncated and perverted view of the meaning of life and the purpose of social order?"

"This is a worrying matter; for the present climate of opinion makes it impossible to avoid taking these steps without opening oneself to charges of "bigotry", "dogmatism", "doctrinaire intolerance", and without incurring that most crushing of all contemporary smears - that one is being "holier-than-thou". It is scarcely surprising that we have taken many steps already towards withdrawn and departmentalized Christian spirituality severed from contemporary culture by the drugged inoperancy of the Christian mind. We shall take more such steps, under the influence of that habit of settling down quietly, if sometimes uncomfortably, with social corruptions and intellectual perversions which cannot be touched or condemned because good men and fellow-Christians are involved running or promulgating them, or because the political party which we support as a bulwark against tyranny and materialism has instructed us that these things are all right."

"The time has come at which Christians must take the initiative in order to avoid being outmaneuvered. What is demanded of us by the voice of the Church, if properly understood, is likewise dictated by tactical and prudential considerations. In short, it is better to define, establish, and nourish a Christian mind in freedom now, as a positive last effort to bring light and hope to our culture and our civilization, than to have to try and gather together the miserable fragments of Christian consciousness after triumphant secularism has finally bulldozed its way through the Church, as a body of thinking men and women."

So I challenge you to think about all areas of your life, especially those areas that don't seem that important, and evaluate whether you are thinking about them with a true Christian mind or in terms that the world has defined for you.

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