The Church’s Failure With The Intellect

I started reading another book tonight. It’s “Passionate Convictions” edited by William Lane Craig and Paul Copan. The first two chapters are about the life of the mind and how Christians need to be educated in several fields, and especially pastors should be educated. I started thinking about this in seeing how little we are educated in the school system and sadly, in the church.

Now here’s my anger.

I can fault the school system. I don’t think public schools are doing as good as they should. Now I know a lot of great men and women in the public school system. My own mother works in it. There are several godly and Christian people in there and we should thank God for them. Overall though, I look back and think my education was lacking.

But what about the church? If the school wasn’t doing it, the church should have been educating! However, what do you learn about at church? How to be a good person and get along with people. Now there is a truth that we ought to be living right. That’s true. However, Christianity is about reason just as much. It’s a faith that makes truth claims about reality. Judaism and Islam both have a strong emphasis on law. Christianity has an emphasis on reason.

Yet do we see that today? No. Anti-intellectualism has taken over. The life of the mind is no longer regarded in most churches today. I am thrilled that our new church regularly speaks on apologetics. My concern though is that we’re just one church and it’s a big world. (Of course, we could have said it’s just 12 apostles and a big world.)

I get angry though when I think about my interest in apologetics and I want to scream “Where was the church?!” I’ll be blunt with this. I have long been seen as having a keen mind. My roommate has seen me do tricks with numbers that impress most people and I used to love watching Jeopardy and any other gameshow and amassing my knowledge. I was voted Most Studious in my High School class and that was while I just drifted through High School.

The church knew that and knew my love of the Bible, but they did nothing to shape that. Now I’m sure if I’m upset by that, I’m not the only one. I didn’t know about this at all until I left for Bible College. I was teaching some classes at church even and I hadn’t submerged myself deep into it. I wonder why some pastor didn’t take me aside and introduce me to great works by theologians.

I recall reading philosophy and wondering “Where was this all my life?” I look at the questions I ask now and think “Why didn’t I think like that earlier?” I have to be blunt. The church has failed there. We are no longer treating the life of the mind seriously and it is not only people like myself that suffer, but people that we could witness to as well.

Friends. Our future is at stake and our youth need to be educated. They need to know the Bible of course, but they need to know extra-biblical information as well. They need to know history, philosophy, economics, science, etc. We Christians are not seen as authorities in these fields and it’s time we changed that.

Friends. We have the truth. Only one thing is holding us back. Us. How are we going to change the world if the world dismisses us as absurd from the get-go? It is time to return to the life of the mind.

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