from JP Moreland’s Love Your God With All Your Mind

Certain virtues are especially relevant to the development of an intellectual life:

1. Truth seeking, honesty and wisdom

  • The Christian mind is committed to seeking and finding the truth even if the truth is not what one wanted to hear.
  • The more one is willing to obey and apply the truth, the more one will be in a position to gain knowledge about more truth.
  • Wisdom is the application of knowledge. You cannot be practically wise without being theoretically informed.

2. Faith, trust and hope

  • One must have peace and serenity of mind in order to develop a life of understanding, reflection and meditation.
  • A confident mind is free to follow the truth wherever it leads, without the distracting fear and anxiety that come from the attitude that maybe we’re better off not knowing the truth.
  • A lack of faith and hope creates a distracted mind incapable of intellectual growth and devotion to God.

3. Humility, and the associated traits of open-mindedness, self-criticality and non-defensiveness

  • We must be willing to seek the truth in a spirit of humility with an admission of our own finitude, we must be willing to learn from our critics, and we need to learn to argue against our own positions in order to strengthen our understanding of them.

4. Ardor, vigilance and fortitude

  • Often a topic of study requires the patient development of a long, complicated chain of arguments before the issue can be understood, and vigilance is needed to see it to completion. An impatient generation looking for instant solutions and quick answers will be a generation of shallow slogans.
  • The Christian mind requires the courage to face the truth and to stand up for it even when doing so is not popular.

5. The final virtue is fidelity to God and dedication to His cause in the world as one’s chief end.

  • The Christian intellectual is here to serve a Name, not to make one. Unfortunately, I have seen too many Christian thinkers who have a certain texture or posture in life that gives the impression that they are far more concerned with assuring their academic colleagues that they are not ignorant fundamentalists than they are with pleasing God and serving His people. Such thinkers often give up too much intellectual real estate far too readily to secular or other perspectives inimical to the Christian faith. This is why many average Christian folk are suspicious of the mind today. All too often, they have seen intellectual growth in Christian academics lead to a cynical posture unfaithful to the spirit of the Christian way. I have always been suspicious of Christian intellectuals whose primary agenda seems to be to remove embarrassment about being an evangelical and to assure their colleagues that they are really acceptable, rational people in spite of their evangelicalism.

Here’s a summary of what the book is. I found it a very helpful book.

Advertisements