Friday, October 02, 2015

How Does One Develop the Mind?

During the recent intro sermon to the "Foundations" series at my home church, the congregation was challenged with the question "How does one aim to be transformed by the renewing of the mind?"

J.P. Moreland gives some good suggestions in the article below taken from the Apologetics Resource Center:


First, it is a mind that has formed the habit of being focused on God constantly throughout the day. It is a mind preoccupied with God and directed regularly towards Him in prayer and meditation (Ps 16:8; Is 26:3, Lk 18:1; Ro 12:12; 1Th 5:16-18). But how can one do this and still perform one’s daily tasks? Fortunately, people can do more than one thing at the same time. While driving a car or centering one’s attention on some other task, one can still be aware of God in the boundaries of one’s attention. And one can bring God to the center of prayerful focus at various times throughout the day. There are two habits that facilitate focusing on God constantly. First, memorize four or five Bible passages that really speak to you. Now make it a practice to pray these passages to the Lord all throughout the day. As you pray through a passage phrase by phrase, use it to pray about things of concern to you. Second, regularly ponder these passages or other scriptural readings, thinking of what they mean. of how you can internalize them, and how you can promote them to others.
The second aspect of a mature Christian mind is one that sees all of life in light of a Christian worldview and is growing in intellectual excellence. A worldview is the sum total of the things one believes, especially in regards to reality, truth, knowledge and value. A Christian worldview is a biblically grounded set of beliefs about all of life, from work, recreation, and finances, to God, life after death, and morality. One tries to think of all of life in light of the teachings of Holy Scripture and, more specifically, of the Lord Jesus. There is no secular/sacred separation in such a mind. All of life is an occasion for discipleship and worship for a mature Christian mind. Further, an intellectually excellent mind is one that is informed, that makes important distinctions when a less mature mind fails to do so, and that develops deeper and deeper insights into issues of importance. To develop such excellence, one must regularly read and expose oneself to excellent teaching. Try to tread books that are a bit challenging to understand. One must also be willing to engage others – believers and unbelievers – in conversations about important worldview issues. Such regular practice, if combines with a growing ability to listen non-defensively, will bring motivation and opportunity for regular growth in intellectual excellence.

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