How Should a Christian Think
Blimers arranges his book into books instead of parts and chapters. This is a British work that describes the difference between a Christian and secular mind. A Christian can think like a secularist. Just because you have the name “Christian” doesn’t mean you have a Christian mind.
The author details the difference between a secular mind and a Christian one. I think one drawback of the book is that it only evaluates the Christian mind with the secular mind. I can see other mindsets competing against the Christian mindset on the horizon. But the book is very helpful in what it discusses.
In Part 1, the author begins by talking about the lack of a Christian mind. Chapter 1 talks about how the Christian mind has surrendered to secularism. The Christian mind has the idea of a religious lifestyle in which all life is sacred. Christians think like secularists instead of Christians. He brings examples of literature that has a secular nature even if it sounds Christian. Most of the authors examples are from a British point of view. There’s not enough Christian literature to help a Christian to stop reading secular material, and therefore think like a Christian.
Many Christians do not think deeply, and therefore, they do not have a thought life of depth. The educational system has been enveloped by secularism. We can worship, but we don’t bring critical thinking skills to the table in the “secular” areas of our lives like politics, morality, or culture. People want to shut people who are idealists up. We have been taught to avoid controversy.
The author says, “The Christian mind cannot exist in a vacuum. It can exist in fruitfully influencing action and disciplined in turn by the response of the logic of events.”
He deals with how loyalty can be misused in our culture. It can be a positive quality, especially in politics if it is used properly. He talks about the machinery in institutions such as education and politics. The machinery works in results that Christians should reject. Christians try to get involved in politics, society, and culture without success because of the machinery running them.
Christians use the language of whatever part of society they involve themselves in. There is no longer a Christian vocabulary. Some positive aspects of Christian dialogue on some matters are good, but Christians do not speak in secular fields of study and cultural operation. He gives several examples from advertising. The secularist mind avoids talking about the moral implications of anything. They find another thing to deny. Instead of speaking of war as evil, the secularist says that a certain government is evil. We have a lack of Christian mindset to evaluate secular things, instead using a secular mindset to evaluate them. Christians give too much ground to these secularists. The author contends that the Christian mind is the basis for Christian thinking and Christian dialogue. We need to have a Christian framework of thought.
Chapter 2 is about thinking Christianly and thinking secularly. You can think either way about anything in the world. You can have secular thoughts about spiritual things. You can have spiritual thoughts about secular things. Christian institutions can be categorized by secular categories and operate and secular ways. Secular categories are not bad in themselves. They can be useful. We think the intellectual part of the mind must be governed by secular thinking. He gives the example of electing bishops Indy British church. Instead of pastors being spiritual leaders first, they must now be good administrators. That concept is a secular one. The Christian thinker often surprises the secular one.
Book 2 talks about the marks of the Christian mind. Chapter 1 discusses the supernatural orientation of the Christian mind. The Christian mind sees some things eternally rather than temporally. The fight becomes the secular mind versus the Christian mind. The Christian who works side-by-side with the secularists sacrifices Christian values. He describes the Christian as schizophrenic. They try to inhabit both spheres of secular and spiritual culture. Christians do not speak to secular issues. They don’t bring the moral aspects of Christianity into the discussion.
In chapter 2, the author talks about the Christian mind’s awareness of evil. Christians do not want to acknowledge that evil exists in the world. At the same time, the Holy Spirit can use the evil in the world to convict the Christian. He uses some examples to show the difference of the Christian mind versus the secular mind on some current issues.
Chapter 3 talks about the Christian mind’s conception of truth. The author describes the difference between Christian conception of truth versus the secular one. The Christian faith is not true because it makes a good person person. It is true because it comes from God’s Word. He gives an example of how the secular mind has invaded the Christian mind. Christians take the popular opinion on a doctrine. It doesn’t take into account that Christian doctrine comes from objective truth. Theology cannot be questioned, according to the author.
Chapter 4 explores the Christian mind’s acceptance of authority. The secular mind bows to the authority of reason, or authority of the state. It does not understand love, and certainly does not accept its authority. It only knows passions and desires of the flesh. It does not recognize spiritual authority and denies the authority of the Bible. It relegates spiritual truth and authority to personal opinions. Morality is an opinion. The world must bow down to the wisdom and Authority of the Church, but it will not. The Christian mind must first bow to God’s authority instead of secularism.
Chapter 5 discusses the Christian mind’s concern for the person. People have become servants of the machine and technology. The good life in the world is that technology becomes its master. He wrote this before we have begun dealing with the current issue of artificial intelligence. This emphasis how machines and technology is where the idea of the administrator rather than the spiritual leader on pastors originates. They are evaluated instead of listened to. While the secularist is concerned with administration and technology, the Church deals with us as human beings.
Chapter 6 is the final chapter. The last chapter deals with the Christian mind as it thinks on the sacred level. The Christian mind is open to divine possibilities like love and beauty. Children and teenagers have no background to understand the differences between love and beauty. The Christian mindset teaches them about these things based on their age. It connects them to morality and gives them a logical framework for understanding such things. This is the best chapter of the book.
In the postscript, the author completes the book by addressing the need for the need generation to understand, get, and use a Christian mind before it’s too late. So many dangers surround the children of today that only a Christian mindset can prepare them for. I completely agree that secularists want to take the minds of today’s children away from them to control them. The Church must do a better job of training our children and youth before the secular universities get a hold of them. I respect the author’s views in the book. He goes to great lengths to show the differences between a secular and Christian mindset. This is very useful no matter what era we live in. By his own admission, the author uses British cultural concepts because he is British. However, the American (or any other country) reader and still get the gist of his arguments and concepts. This was a great read, and I highly recommend every Christian to read it. It is accessible, and it helps us to see where the battlefield especially for our children is being fought.