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A Mind for God Hardcover – June 16, 2006
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"God wants us to have the mind of Christ. But what is that mind and how do we get it? James Emery White answers these questions in some of the most lucid prose being written today. A pleasure to read! A joy to take his advice!" (James W. Sire, author of The Universe Next Door and Learning to Pray Through the Psalms)
From the Publisher
Features & Benefits
* Provides an accessible approach to the importance of the mind for Christians
* Includes a top-ten reading list for beginning to develop your mind
* Includes a top-twenty-five reading list for forming a Christian worldview
* Includes a top-one-hundred reading list for engaging important ideas from history to the present
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The author reaches his intended goal. First, he explains the Christian mind and stresses the importance of recognizing and submitting to propositional revelation. "The Christian mind is a mind that operates under the belief that there is something outside of ourselves that we must take into account."
Second, the author develops the cultural mind. In so doing, he explains the cultural battle that faces every Christian, namely, moral relativism, autonomous individualism, narcissistic hedonism, and reductive naturalism. James Emery White argues essentially that Christ-followers must recognize these cultural competitors and respond in a biblical and winsome way.
Third, the author spends time developing the importance of developing good reading skills in order to nurture the Christian mind and provide a solid foundation for intellectual development. Scripture, of course, is the centerpiece of the strategy here.
Fourth, there is a certain body of truth one ought to know if he or she is to nurture a properly informed Christian mind. Included among the most important items are biblical, historical, and theological literacy. "Before a mind can contend with culture," White argues, "it must first ground itself in a sound and vibrant Christian theology."
The author stresses the need for spiritual discipline: "We need to recapture a sense that the development of our minds is a spiritual discipline." He props up specific rules for reading, learning, and reflection.
Finally, James Emery White brings everything together by making an appeal to the lordship of Christ, the issue that stands at the crux of Christian mind development and discipleship. He writes, "This is the vanguard of Christian thinking - knowing how to live and then working to make the kingdom of God a reality for others to be able to live as well."
I really enjoyed this book. James Emery White has the perfect blend of Bible, cultural awareness, passion for the truth, and creativity. A Mind for God is a welcome addition to my own book, Developing a Christian Mind in a Post-Christian World which creates a workable framework for "thinking Christianly."
But, if the issues of the world are increasing complex and we have moved from a thoughtful approach to information overload, White is here with sage advice and wisdom for the Christian individual who wants to know how to equip themselves to make a difference in the world. White's advice can best be summarized with one word: read. While reading is not the end of all that is necessary, it most assuredly is the beginning of developing the mind. White does an excellent job of encouraging Christians to read and also gives several examples of what and how to read to make the time and energy most productive.
White adds a valuable reading guide at the end of the book for those interested in developing their Christian worldview and entering the "great conversation." He also gives some additional resources including audio centers for further education, learning centers dedicated to developing the Christian mind, web sites of organizations for additional information and periodicals to continue to deepen one's understanding of the current cultural crisis.
What makes White's book stand out is its brevity. At just over 100 pages, this small book serves as a very concise declaration of Christianity's need for biblical thinkers. It is not designed to provide Christians with a biblical worldview. Instead, it points us in the right direction. Especially helpful are the appendices in the back of the book which list important books from the past three thousand years.
White's book is a clarion call to evangelical Christians to begin cultivating the life of the mind. His view of the future is hopeful, his advice practical, and his words should be heeded by our generation.
Helpful suggested reading lists are included in the Appendix.
Much of this material is repeated in "Serious Times" by the same author.