February 2018

The summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college was a significant period in the life of my faith. I turned the corner in my walk with God. I went from having a faith that I borrowed from my family to having a faith of my own.
I soon discovered that university life is not organized to feed one’s faith. Every single class I had seemed to have a skeptical bias to it. So many of my professors seemed to be suggesting that the faith was irrational, oppressive, and antiquated. Very few people around me seemed to be mounting a credible defense of the faith.
In the midst of that situation, I felt the pull of two equal and opposite errors. The first was to simply go with the flow, and uncritically adopt the skepticism of my age. The second was to retreat into defensive dogmatism where I simply disregarded the questions that were all around me and lived out a sort of blind faith.
Eventually, the Lord showed me a third option which was to grow in the understanding of my faith. I needed to learn to wrestle with the skepticism that was all around me.
I needed to find satisfying Christian answers to the questions that plagued my faith. I needed to learn to “take every thought captive to the Gospel” and reconcile my faith with knowledge and my knowledge with faith. My knowledge of scripture needed to mature to handle the larger, more complex, world that I obviously would need to inhabit.
That effort required a lot of outside reading. I had to do my own research. I had to find credible Christian writers who could help me think through so much of what the university was throwing at me. I also had to find strong Christian mentors who could help shape my thinking.
Jesus once said in Mark 12:30 that we need to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Interestingly enough those words were mostly quoted from an earlier Old Testament passage found in Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus however added the word “mind.” He put that word in for extra emphasis because I think he understood that believers sometimes feel the temptation to fall into lazy thinking patterns that are dishonoring to God. He makes the special point that we need to learn to love God in the way that we think.
I believe it is of vital importance that we learn to worship God in the way we think. Let’s wrestle with the questions that have plagued our faith otherwise our faith will be not be confidently felt or expressed.