In his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Mark Noll writes, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” I believe his observation is correct. It seems that Christians have dropped off the intellectual radar and have been content to maintain a shallow understanding of the very thing which they claim to live for. Seminarians aside, there seems to be a serious and real fear of intellectualism in the church. The practical has overridden the meditative. As good as its works may be, if these are all the church has, then it has already lost its relationship with God.
The Lord Jesus Christ, when asked what the greatest commandment is, replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). We can love God with all our emotions and actions, but to love God with all our soul, we must include our mind, because the mind is part of the soul. Our worship of God is not complete without loving him with our mind.
So why does the church seem to be afraid of thinking? God has commanded us to use our minds in our worship of him. The comfort zone and the status quo are not good enough. At some point we need to move on from spiritual milk to meat and potatoes. An adult cannot stay nourished on milk alone like a newborn can. The spiritual person is the same. The relationship with God will wither and die if more complex nourishment is not taken in over time and maturity. Our minds will atrophy and be good for nothing if we never use them. Have you ever notice how you forget much of what you learn in school if you do not continue to use it? Worshipping God with our minds is a lot like that.
But if we have never used our minds in worship, we will find it hard at first – it is a muscle that has not been used much and needs to build up tone and strength. It may be slow coming at first, but eventually it will be strong as steal.
So how to we worship God with our minds? The most important thing is meditation on the Word. We need to think about what we are learning about God in order to know him more and in turn worship him more fully. Also, we cannot be afraid to dive into the questions we have and seek out the answers from Scripture. The Holy Spirit will reveal the answers to us if we would only seek after him to do so.
Do not be content with a shallow understanding and relationship with God. Answer the call and obey the command: Worship God with your mind.