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Your Mind Matters: The Place of the Mind in the Christian Life (IVP Classics) Paperback – December 10, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Features & Benefits

*A new edition of an IVP classic

About the Author

John R. W. Stott (1921-2011) has been known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974). His many books have sold millions of copies around the world and in dozens of languages. Stott's best-known work, Basic Christianity, has sold two million copies and has been translated into more than 60 languages. Other titles include The Cross of Christ, Understanding the Bible, The Contemporary Christian, Evangelical Truth, Issues Facing Christians Today, The Incomparable Christ, Why I Am a Christian and Through the Bible Through the Year, a daily devotional. He has also written eight volumes in The Bible Speaks Today series of New Testament expositions. Whether in the West or in the Two-Thirds World, a hallmark of Stott's ministry has been expository preaching that addresses the hearts and minds of contemporary men and women. Stott was honored by Time magazine in 2005 as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" and was named in the Queen’s New Years Honours list as Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1969, Stott founded the Langham Trust to fund scholarships for young evangelical leaders from the Majority World. He then founded the Evangelical Literature Trust, which provided books for students, pastors and theological libraries in the Majority World. These two trusts continued as independent charities until 2001, when they were joined as a single charity: the Langham Partnership. Langham's vision continues today to see churches in the Majority World equipped for mission and growing to maturity in Christ through nurturing national movements for biblical preaching, fostering the creation and distribution of evangelical literature, and enhancing evangelical theological education.

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 93 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; 2nd ed. edition (December 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830834087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830834082
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Albert Einstein once said, "If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies." That idea is fleshed out from a Christian perspective by John Stott. He wrote to address a spirit of anti-intellectualism in Christian circles. Some point to their zeal and spirituality with pride, claiming that zeal is all you need, and knowledge is superfluous. Stott states plainly, "God's purpose is both, zeal directed by knowledge, knowledge fired with zeal." It's ludicrous to believe that Christians can have an impact in the world if they don't use their minds to understand their own faith and to interact effectively in the arena of ideas. Stott's book is very short, an easy read, and his argument is solid and effective. Definitely 5 stars!
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Format: Paperback
Okay, now I've caught your attention. John Stott and others like J. P. Moreland ("Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind") seek to win back Christianity from its Fundamentalistic (and thus somewhat anti-intellectual) tendencies, and seek to state why the cognitive/intellectual side of faith is important. For the heart does not rejoice with which the mind does not agree upon! Prov. 19:2 "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge..."
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.
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Format: Paperback
This book is really short - 61 pages. It is a transcript of a talk Stott gave to his students at the beginning of an acedemic year. I think it's a nice read. This book is much more consice than "Love Your God with all Your Mind" by Moreland, but discusses the same sorts of ideas.
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."
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A lot of "love God with your mind" books try to lay some kind of all-around intellectual burden on Christians, telling us we all need to be driven by intellectual pursuit. Stott never makes those kinds of claims, instead emphasizing the need for thoughtful reflection on and study of God's Word. The text is around 80 pages long, and reads more like a devotional than a theological treatise, but the call to serious engagement of doctrine for the good of the Church and individual Christians is one that hasn't gone out of style and can't be ignored.
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Format: Paperback
In the same genre as J. P. Moreland's "Love God with Your Mind," Stott writes a much more pithy, brief overview of why Christian living must entail not only the emotions, but also the mind. In fact, as he writes, he rightly balances loving God with our soul (relationality), mind (rationality), will (volitionality), and emotions (emotionality). His work is a solid reminder of our need for a holistic approach to our walk with our God.

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."
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