Matthew 22:37 states that the Great Commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Christians, and even non-Christians today, have lost the ability to truly unleash their mind. Colleges try to teach people how to have an open mind but in essence they want their students to believe what they believe, feel what they feel, etc. If they teach that there are no absolutes, they want their students to absolutely believe it. We want young people to use their minds but we do not teach them how to. In the church, we have done even a greater disservice in this area. David Mathis makes the point that “Healthy Christianity clearly appreciates the life of the mind.” (p. 15)
True Christianity encompasses all of the emotions. Thinking. Loving. Doing. Is a book that truly challenges how we use our mind. It challenges us to even question whether or not we are even using our mind. As I sometimes do in my reviews, here is what the back of the book has to say:
“Here is a call to holistic Christianity. A challenge to be thinkers, engaged and serious about knowing God. And to be feelers, pulsing with passion for Jesus and His gospel. And to be doers, endeavoring great acts of love for others. Our Savior himself shows us that holistic Christianity is comprised of mind, heart and hands. And he shows us that the Christian life is multidimensional – irreducibly and inseparably thinking, loving and doing.”
I use the back many times because the way they word the description or purpose of the book is the best way to put it. This book is all about challenging Christians to be fully devoted followers of Christ and to do that, we must be engaged in all of our emotions. That is how Jesus set the example, He loved, He felt and He did so why should we be expected to do any less as His followers. With the great commandment being to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, why do we think that is an option? The best way to live the Christian life, and the only way to live the Christian life, is with all of our being; anything less than that subconsciously says that we do not have to obey the greatest commandment.
This book began as actual messages spoken at the Desiring God Conference from 2010 and has contributions from Rick Warren, Francis Chan, R.C. Sproul, R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Thabiti Anyabwile. Each of the contributors adds their own unique ability to communicate to the book which makes this book a great read and challenge for anyone desiring to truly walk with the Lord.
Rick Warren begins the book with speaking of the battle of the mind. We face a war for our minds each and every day. There is so much trying to grab our attention and get us thinking about it that for us to truly begin thinking in a Christian way, it will take effort on our part. Albert Mohler follows with speaking on the way the world thinks and how the natural mind is at work within all of us because of the fall of man. R.C. Sproul then moves us on to thinking about the Bible because it is what actually gives answers to life’s biggest questions. Thabiti Anyabwile speaks on Islam and Muslims and how our thinking has affected our reaction or thoughts towards these people. Francis Chan then gives a great challenge to think about whether or not we truly love God and love others. John Piper concludes the book with a challenge on how thinking is what will actually help lead us more fully into experiencing true and lasting joy.
Over all, this book is a great read for any Christian who wants to be challenged. And yet what this book will lead you to is actually begin thinking, and even thinking about thinking. That is what it did to me. After reading many portions of this book, I would find myself sitting and actually just thinking. Our minds are powerful things and as one famous quote states, a “horrible thing to waste.” For the Christian, this is extremely important because the greatest commandment says we are to love with ALL. If we are to love with ALL our mind, it must cause us to think and to think deeply. Not to become more knowledgeable and prideful because of our knowledge, but to think because thinking leads to loving which leads to doing; and that is what the Christian life is all about. So go ahead and pick this book up and read it. You will find yourself challenged and glad that you did pick it up.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review.