Why write about a Christian Mind? Who Cares?
There is no longer a Christian Mind.
-Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind
I hope you take the time to read this opening series of posts. They will be anchored to my home page on the Purpose Menu.
This blog is for people who want to think. My purpose is to look at life through a particular lens. Everyone looks at life through a filter. What we believe shapes what we see. No one is objective. Secular minds have a faith position that controls their interpretation. As someone who sees life and history in light of God’s purpose and story, my faith position shapes my understanding. Neither secular nor religious perspectives have a corner on the market of reason or logic. I happen to find that the lens of God’s revealed perspective makes more sense of the details of life than any other viewpoint I have tried. One of the great influences on my life has been C S Lewis, an Oxford professor, atheist, converted quite to his own surprise, and a leading apologist for Christianity in the mid-20th century. His writings were prescient.
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.” — C S Lewis, The Weight of Glory
I borrow the idea of a “Christian Mind” from an associate of C S Lewis. Writing 50 years ago, he lamented the loss of a Christian mind. He saw Christians allowing themselves to be co-opted into a secular mind. He was quite right.
For forty-five adult years I have sought to disprove Harry Blamires (a contemporary of CS Lewis). My hope was to cultivate a Christian mind. The path has been very difficult, no where more than in resisting “civil religion”: the dreadful blend of Christianity with the American assumption that we are a special nation in the eyes of God. While I have a great appreciation for our Constitution as a wise expression of limited government, I in no way think of it or our nation as Christian. To do so is to whitewash our history of brutal conquest and the enslavement of black Africans followed by the era of Jim Crow. More grievously, it is to confuse Judeo-Christian morality with the necessary work of redemption by Jesus death. That sort of confusion is a false Gospel. (More on all this at a later time).
A Christian mind is a way of seeing.
It looks at things with a wider angle and a deeper perspective.
The wider angle stretches from eternity to eternity. It begins with the greatness and beauty of the true God. It ends with everlasting joy in the kingdom of heaven. In between it considers the sweep of wisdom proven over millennia. Christianity resists what is called “presentism.”
The deeper perspective begins with the greatness of God. It moves to the worth and dignity of persons. Then it carries on to the nature, presence, and power of evil in all human life. One of Christianity’s greatest contributions to the world of thought is its sober doctrine of human corruption. That teaching explains the indescribable and ubiquitous presence of evil in every person, family, friendship, workplace, government, and ideology. Failing to believe it has led to the murder of tens of millions in the name of our collective aspiration to utopia.
A wider and deeper view is grounded in truth as objective and fixed. God is true and the world and moral order are as he made it. Truth is unchanging. We adapt to it. It is never a tool for power. People who seek power and control hate truth tellers.
The wider view also includes confidence in the triumph of God over evil. That triumph took place through God’s self-sacrifice in the incarnate eternal Son. Christ has overruled and overcome the dark powers that swallow us whole. He is the only truly inclusive Redeemer — anyone may come and find forgiveness through him.
An invitation to consider
This is more than a perspective. I have found it to be compelling and beautiful. A Christian mind makes more sense of the world as it is than any other way of seeing. I welcome your consideration.