the Christian mind

iDisciple sessions 8 &9 with James Emery White explored discipleship with emphasis on the Christian Mind

aim to go an inch wide, and a mile deep.
5 headlines of the modern mind:-
1 we think there’s a lot of truth to go around – pluralism is rampant. Peter Bergers Sacred Canopy, now gives may to many little tents, options and equal validity. Yet if everything is true, then nothing is true. Philosophy 101.
Truth is specific, real and concrete.
Not the same mountain: two entirely different mountains! Divisions of this nature, means one is right – others wrong, everyone’s right or everyone’s wrong.
2 Felt reality rather than truth revealed. “truthiness” as launched by Steven Colbert quote…..literally became a word-of-the-year influence.
3 “wikieality” reality as defined by a majority vote: as in the disappearance of Pluto as a planet. Majority truthiness! Culture says – truth for us is truth for us.
Faith is so culturally malleable. Jesus becomes whatever others want to make him into……
4 when you get rid of right and wrong, truth goes…… we are not cultural ‘mistakers’. Sin is now not in the English Oxford dictionary: completely removed.
5 Moral relativism. Personal, private, subjective…..
60% of emerging adults are all about this. Jeremiah would say, ‘our culture has forgotten how to blush!’
Knowing the mindset of the culture profoundly shapes our culture. Don’t be naieve.
Loving God with our mind; the comprehensive embrace of God, is at the heart of renewal of character in our culture.
Romans 12 dynamics – Greek tense: it’s the present imperative, it’s a continuing ‘transforming’ mould. Not ‘so well adjusted to our culture that we do not fit in without even thinking!’
Two forces impact us: the world and the will of God!
As someone thinks, so they are.
An integrated mind – overcoming the compartmentalization of the mind. ie. Christians not believing in the resurrection, but believing in reincarnation. Not a joined up mind. Hollistic and radical thinking minds are needed.
Helping people think Christianly really matters in our worldview.
God spoke our lives into being……so the implications are sizeable, in reflecting our respect and honour of human life. 
2 Corinthians 10 a different kind of war being waged……
Will there be a strength of mind and discipleship that stands against the onslaught of Islam?
Ideology supported by military might is something else!
Where are the Christians!?
Not just feeling and philanthropy, but hard thinking needed?!
Liberalism has won, we are a marginalized minority. We’re just contending on Mars Hill Acts 17 mode: we still think we’re operating as Acts 2.
What are we doing to attend to the scale of persecution and suffering worldwide for the cause of Christ?
The real danger now is the true believer: the logical end of the moral relativism….the ultimate Satanic win: to say right is wrong. Satan is not creative or original but consistent.
Sexuality is a moral issue, but now is made a civil rights issue: all sped through in one generation.
Our theology is not wrong but our strategy is all wrong. Sin infused with the hatred dynamic. Grace and truth shared dynamic. Jesus said I love you, acceptance was real, but now stop it.
Orientation is not wrong, but all homo-eroticism is a sin.
Approach is key; content doesn’t have to be watered down. Serve it up as Jesus did: grace and truth.
Do we know how to google Christianly?
Reading followed by reflection matters much.
11th Century monk “Our library is our armoury!”
Reading must be a priority!
Media offers the greatest temptation against reading and enlarged minds.
Be well read, more than widely read. Be selective.
How is a mind forged!
Most cultural conversations are not new.
Read well…..all for a winsome and compelling presentation of the gospel.
Scripture rooted as central in this all.
Protect the time to practice the reading….and the reflection time. This is what sets a Christian mind apart. Reflection is a lost discipline.
A speeded up mind in our culture, with much noise.
How little do we really think? How much deep thinking?
The demons in CS Lewis’ Screwtape world, desired to drown out the whole world with the sound of noise.
The bible gives us all that we must know but not all that we may know!
Application of mind and heart require much effort
Great thinkers just took the time to do it!
Reflect on the great issues of the day. Discerning the difference between the clever and the true matters.
Media is our matrix. An average7.5 hours of per day, for 8-18year olds
The media torrent has become our familiar world! Persuasively ravaging us toward a new way. What the media have been smuggling in over all these years, is the living with the media.
“We don’t shoot for the 14 year olds: we own them!” MTV President.
236 episodes of Friends given to us with 86 onscreen sexual partners seen. It upsets Joey, but normalizes us. Likeable people, cause us to believe things we would not have accepted prior.
Media represents the most powerful education and indoctrination capacity.
Oliver Stone on JFK movie accuracy: “People should read the book for truth.” But we don’t do the systematic study on the matter!!
The power of media is the strength of how we are led to feel.
Princess Dianna v Mother Theressa 3-to-1 coverage. Played out as a sizeable 20th century crisis. “Famous for being famous.” Led to feel that way.
If I get you to feel a certain way, I can get you to think and then act in a certain way.
The full implications of pornography for our culture are terrifying, yet far too early to assess.
We feel our ways into beliefs and values.
Internet fused brilliance: we’re always on. What was unleashed in this. A net generation is forever changing it all. Forever changed.
Always on, always connected, and always multi-tasking……….we are not able to focus. Its affecting our brain patterns.
6months off the internet shapes us into depth! Shallow thoughts, lead to shallow thinking
We have a generation of “scanners rather than engagers, skimmers instead of readers.” Tim Challies
Our cultural assault is real. Don’t be underprotective parents. Don’t believe you are helpless! You can stand up…..
Be courageously countercultural!
CS Lewis is still respected because he took on the changes for his era will courage and grace.
The Christian mind is essential. Thinking beings is at the heart of being human. Let us lead the charge back to this.
1 Get biblical literacy into your church. The flow of the story has to be understood.
2 Teach theology. There are many other distractions. Teach how it all fits together. Give people roots! Why do we not teach systematic theology for all our church people?
3 Get the big shift down from intellectual shift from the modern mind to an integrated Christian worldview. Our context is not safe and easy. We’re in Acts 17 times. An Acts 2 approach will not work anymore….. Don’t aim for transfer growth……seek conversion and transformation.
Don’t prepare to speak primarily to god-fearing Jews in Jerusalem. We’re in Mars Hill times.
Modern army training methods are zig-zag sprints, not marathon sprints. We rarely re-think our battle strategies in evangelism and apologetics.
Are we answering the wrong questions?
Be present and savvy about our culture, but not victims of it!
www.churchandculture.org