From the Pulpit: God gave us minds, so why not use them?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I am fascinated by the sermons of Peter Gomes, minister in The Memorial Church at Harvard.

Brilliant, witty, personable, Gomes writes articles and books and preaches and teaches with zest.

Last May, I heard him in person as I attended a series of meetings in Atlanta.

In recent days, I have been re-reading parts of his book of sermons, entitled Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living.

At one point, he makes a solid case for the &8220;mystery of religion.&8221;

Gomes said in our &8220;version of Christianity, [we] have prided ourselves on the developed ability to discern and understand.&8221;

He went on to say that there are large parts of our faith that are &8220;not reasonable,&8221; and it almost sounds, at some points, as if he advocates throwing away our brains.


His predecessor at Harvard was George Buttrick who made famous the idea that &8220;no church door should be so low that a believer must leave his (or her) head outside in order to worship.&8221;

Our minds do matter!

One of my favorite bumper stickers of all time is the one that reads, &8220;Of all the things I&8217;ve lost, I miss my mind the most!&8221;

So, my question:

what kind of mind is yours?

In First Corinthians 2, verse 16, the apostle Paul speaks of the kind of mind we should have:

&8220;the mind of Christ.&8221;

What then does it mean to &8220;have the mind of Christ&8221; It sounds as if Paul leans toward all of us thinking the same way. However, he is not telling us to think uniform thoughts.

He is not saying we have to be unanimous in everything we think and say.

But you and I have been called to exhibit the mind, the spirit, the character of Jesus Christ. The church supposedly lifts up one standard, and it is the standard of Jesus!

The new President of Mercer University in Macon, Ga., is Bill Underwood. In a speech earlier this year, he noted the reality that God has given us our intellect, that God has given us the gift of reason, and he added:

&8220;Jesus has commanded us to honor and cherish this gift.

To use our minds.

To love God with our hearts and our souls &045; but also to love God with our minds.

Surely, keeping this greatest of all commandments requires us to think for ourselves and come to our own conclusions.&8221;

Then he quoted something a friend of his once said:

&8220;Jesus came to take away our sins &045; not our minds.&8221;

Dr. Ron Grizzle is the pastor of Riverchase Baptist Church