J.P. Moreland recently updated his fine book Love Your God with All Your Mind. In re-reading it I came across this sobering quote by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli: "Western civilization is for the first time in its history in danger of dying. The reason is spiritual. It is losing its life, its soul; that soul was the Christian faith" (Handbook of Christian Apologetics).
As Moreland argues, the role of the mind is crucial to the Christian worldview. Unfortunately, anti-intellectualism has far too often weakened the influence of the church. In chapter 1, Moreland lists five characteristics of anti-intellectualism and how it has impacted Western Christianity. These include 1) A misunderstanding of faith's relationship to reason; 2) The separation of the secular and the sacred; 3) Weakened world missions; 4) Anti-intellectualism has spawned an irrelevant gospel; 5) A loss of boldness in confronting the idea structures in our culture with effective Christian witness.
To counter the rise of anti-intellectualism, Christians must take seriously Christ's call to love God with heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). With my oldest son graduating from high school soon, looking back on his homeschool journey has helped me appreciate the opportunities he's had to train his mind to think clearly and also to learn how to engage culture intelligently.
How does Sonlight accomplish this? One way we do this is by fostering a mindset that is open to understanding and evaluating ideas. We want to educate, not indoctrinate. May we all seek to be deliberate about both encouraging our children to use their minds for the glory of God, and using their intellects to make a positive difference in this world.
Pingback: The Unthinking Religious | Sonlight Blog