Have you ever noticed how often the New Testament talks about the mind?
- We are to be transformed by the renewal of the mind (Rom 12:2)
- We are called to think on what is true, honorable, just, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8)
- We are instructed to set our minds on things above (Col 3:2)
In fact, Paul tells us that the mind is set either on the flesh or on the Spirit, and that it is evident by the way we live (Rom 8:5-7).
The Bible describes cognitive activity (thinking, believing, reasoning) as a function of the heart (Matt 9:4, Luke 3:15, Rom 10:6, 1 Cor 2:9, Eph 1:18, etc). While there are other functions the Bible attributes to the heart (affections and volition), the role of the mind is striking when we consider that “out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness…” (Mark 7:21-22). It is no wonder that proverbs tells us to “watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov 4:23, NASB).
Considering this, it is amazing that so many Christians see little to no value in studying the Bible at a Bible College. However, there are several reasons why this may be the case.
Firstly, our culture loves short soundbites. How often do you see a single sentence on a picture on social media? This affinity for short pithy sayings is much more attractive than thinking carefully and considering long arguments. In fact, we are rapidly losing the ability to concentrate long enough to follow argumentation.
Secondly, sometimes it seems that, as Christians, we are intimidated by the culture, and specifically by the anti-Christian academic world that is so dominant. But this is not necessary. With a little consideration, secular arguments become self-defeating, and inconsistent, while the biblical worldview is amazing in its explanatory power and internal consistency.
Thirdly, our culture is often emotionally driven. We frequently hear phrases such as “listen to your heart,” which is similar to “go with your gut,” “do what you feel,” or “be true to yourself,” which all say roughly the same thing, “decide based on your feelings.” While the emotions have an important part to play in life, this kind of thinking is unbiblical, and leads to sin because the heart is deceitful (Jer 17:9).
It is not enough to simply fill the mind with knowledge, but the Christian life cannot be effectively lived without a biblically ordered mind. This is why the Shepherd’s Bible College exists, to inform the mind in order to transform the believer into the likeness of Christ.
If you would like to be transformed by the renewing of the mind, consider studying at The Shepherd’s Bible College. Still not sure? You might want to read how Eli grew in Christ as his thinking was shaped by biblical truth.