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Your Mind Matters: The Place of the Mind in the Christian Life (IVP Classics) Paperback – December 10, 2006
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About the Author
Mark A. Noll (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is Francis McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is advisory editor for Books & Culture and subeditor for the new Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Noll's main academic interests concern the interaction of Christianity and culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglo-American societies. He has published articles and reviews on a wide variety of subjects involving Christianity in modern history. Some of his many books include The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, Is the Reformation Over?, The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys and The Old Religion in a New World.
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Top Customer Reviews
Stott wishes to have Christians to be zeal guided by knowledge, both zeal and knowledge, even though sometimes we might set one against the other (e.g., zealous pietists vs. dead logical rationalists). Stott believes in the power of the truth (p.13), and that the rationality of man is sometimes seen as one of the aspects of being created in the image of God, and is basically taken for granted by many. Stott lays out how God's revelation is primarily to our minds, that it is through knowledge of God and God's will that we are to obey, and that we will be judged. Thus, Stott is trying to state how the intellectual sphere is will play an important role within Christian life.
Stott namely names spheres of worship, faith, holiness, guidance, evangelism, and ministry as areas where we will require the intellectual pursuits. For instance, true worship loves God with our minds. Stott then moves on to name what faith isn't: faith is not credulity, it is not blind, it is not optimism, and it isn't placed in oneself, but rather in God. Faith is a trust in the promises of God in His trustworthiness, based on one's walk with Him. Faith thus goes along with knowledge and thinking.Read more ›
He begins talking about how it's important to have zeal and knowledge. That one without the other is a problem. He's also against cold pragmatism: "The modern world breeds pragmatists whose first question about anything is not, "Is it true?" but "Does it work?""
Stott asks the question, why should Christians develop and use their minds? He gives answers such as,
- The ideas around us are potentially dangerous and false(i.e. think about "Mein Kampf" in the days of Hitler); and most certainly against the gospel.
- We're created to think
- God is a self-revealing God, who has thoughts to share with us
- We have a new redeemed mind, given to us by Christ
- We can use our minds to worship God, present the gospel to others, and utilize our gifts in the Body
Furthermore, Stott discusses having a reasonable faith. He shows how our minds can help guide us towards the Lord and spiritual growth. He ends suggesting that we depend on the Holy Spirit, but that doesn't mean we don't use our own minds as well. He brings up what God spoke to Daniel after Daniel had prayed: "Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to understand and humbled yourself before God, your words have been heard..." Stott concludes, "Indeed, both the setting of the mind to understand and the self-humbling before God are tokens of a man's hunger for divine truth."
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," "Biblical Psychology," "Martin Luther's Counseling," and "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
In chapter 2 'Why use our minds'Mr.Stott rightly points to creation,and man being made in his Creators image( thus part of being created in the image of God is the ability to think and reason).The basic rationality of man is assumed both throughout the Scriptures and in society as well.
Even though man is fallen,God's revelation of Himself is with words to minds,again showing the importance of the mind. The proclamation of 'The Gospel'(the Lord's chief means in bringing redemption to fallen man)is with words to minds.The manner in which the gospel is often brought is(as the apostle Paul writes in the book of Acts "we persuade men"). John Stott writes on p.47 "Now persuading is an intellectual excercise.To persuade is to martial arguments in order to prevail on people to change their mind about something."
In the third chapter entitled 'The Mind In The Christian Life' there is some helpful discussion on Faith and reason. Some,perhaps many,in our day think that faith and reason are in opposition to one another.They are not. To quote a well known preacher A.N.Martin 'Faith is reason at rest in God'.Faith and Sight(not reason)are in opposition to one another in the Word of God.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Stott and his clear, penetrating style. What an apt word for a world that is becoming instinct driven versus intelligent choice driven, as he points out.Published 6 months ago by Vicky Niblack
Great book, and relatively short and easy read. Those who believe being a Christian means leaving your brain at the door need to read this book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by PR
Idiscovered John RW Stott back in the 1960's while in The Divinity School at Dukr Univ. I was so taken by his clear presentation of the Christian Gospel that it was the resource... Read morePublished 21 months ago by James Rush
This is a call to get us to exercise our minds profitably. The mind is an unrealized gift from God that, today, is waisted on the mundane and given over to thoughts and events... Read morePublished on February 5, 2014 by Kindle Customer
Honestly I was expecting a book focusing on the lack of Christians thinking like Jesus, rather than simply emotionally thinking about Jesus. Stott does not. Read morePublished on October 26, 2013 by Alan Ludwick