Why aren't Christians smarter?

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Steve Newman's picture

Yes, we are supposed to be intelligent. I find a lot of believers really are more thoughtful than their unsaved counterparts. But we have a lot more to think about, as well. I might have phrased this as thoughtful vs. thoughtless. If we note the instances of "consider", "reckon", "think" terms in Scripture, we would know we have a lot more to do than we understand with our minds.
The other side is true knowledge compared to "so-called knowledge". We don't seek to know the same things as others!

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

anti-intellectualism flourishes amongst Christians. They don't need none of that there book-learnin', and are suspicious of anyone who pursues knowledge.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Jim wrote:
Quote:
The most pervasive myth about Christianity is that it is incompatible with intelligence.

I challenge this premise

Really ... "most pervasive"!


that he is still speaking on the topic of intelligence, scholarship, etc... and not every myth that has ever existed.

Jim's picture

Susan R wrote:
Jim wrote:
Quote:
The most pervasive myth about Christianity is that it is incompatible with intelligence.

I challenge this premise

Really ... "most pervasive"!


that he is still speaking on the topic of intelligence, scholarship, etc... and not every myth that has ever existed.

I got that ... and I challenge it. This premise

Quote:
The most pervasive myth about Christianity is that it is incompatible with intelligence.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

He could have qualified that statement with "in my opinion" or "seems to be". Even though we shouldn't do it, hyperbole is something we do so often we don't even notice. Why, just the other day, I said "Jim Peet is the most intelligent, distinguished, and noble person I know", and someone said "Really, Susan? He's THE MOST intelligent, distinguished, and noble person you know? " Alas, I could not prove my assertion with authoritative and irrefutable data. Perhaps if someone sent me some cookies...

Dick Dayton's picture

Let us remember that God says through Isaiah, "Come now, and let us reason together." Good theology takes careful study and good thinking. I have always encouraged our people to think critically and to ask probing questions. The Scriptures will stand up to careful examination. If our theology does not stand up, then it needs to be rethought, so that it is Bibiically consistent.

Having said that, I must reflect upon my background before salvation. I was raised in a rationalistic, humanistic, secular home, where man's reason was exalted and religion was not considered. Evolution and humanism permeated my background and my education. My background was in a PhD physics program, and I am confident that careful examination of Scripture will only enhance our understanding of and adoration of God as we contemplate His great works and deep character.

There was an era when there was a strong anti intellectual bias in our movement, but that time is long past. Our pastors are seeking advanced study, and doing good thinking. Part of the problem we now face is that the person telling the story first and best is believed, regardless of the true facts, and our secular entertainment industry and mainstream media have a strong anti biblical bias.

If someone says that fundamentalists are not doing good and critical thinking, then I would suspect they have not exposed themselves to the writing of people like Kevin Bauder and others like him. I am thankful for people God has raised up who challenge me to deeper meditation upon and examination of Biblical truth.

Dick Dayton

christian cerna's picture

Many Christians are taught not to question things- especially when it comes to questioning the words and actions of their spiritual leaders. There is this idea in many evangelical churches, that when we enter the church service, we need to turn off our minds, close our eyes, keep our heads down, and do what everyone else is doing(e.g. raise our hands, clap, stand, sit, sing, smile, give money, say amen to whatever the preacher says, rinse, lather, repeat.)