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002 Divided Minds Church & Culture002 Divided Minds.

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1 002 Divided Minds Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

2 Church & Culture002 Divided Minds Quote – “Sundays were Sundays, with the rest of the week largely detached, operating by a different set of rules. Can these two worlds that seem so separate ever merge? “ - John Beckett from “Loving Monday: Succeeding in Business Without Selling Your Soul”

3  Illustrations of the reality of a divided mind among working Christians  Abortion Counselor  Liquor Store  Credit Card Company  Christianity is not just religious truth it is total truth covering all of reality Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

4  Many Christians accept the fact/value, public /private dichotomy  This restricts their faith to the religious sphere while they adopt whatever views are current in their professional or social circles  Teachers – secular theories of education  Christian business people who run their businesses by accepted secular management practices  Christian ministries that mirror the commercial world’s marketing techniques  Christian families watching listening to the same movies, TV shows and music as non-believing friends  “There is no longer a Christian mind.” - Harry Blamires Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

5  Christians have no biblical worldview for interpreting the subject matter of their fields  There is a scientific mind, a modern mind, a good business mind – but there is no Christian mind  No shared biblically based assumptions on subjects like law, education, economics, politics, science, the arts  As a moral being the Christian follows the biblical ethic, as a spiritual being we pray and attend worship services, but as a thinking being the modern Christian gives in to secularism  “But as a thinking being, the modern Christian has succumbed to secularism, accepting a frame of reference constructed by the secular mind and a set of criteria reflecting secular evaluations” Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

6  Many believers participate mentally as non-Christians, checking our Christian mind-set at the door, no matter what our private beliefs may be  Conservative politics vs.. a Christian political philosophy  Scientists maybe committed Christians but few have developed a biblically informed philosophy of science  Ministers take great care to make sure their messages are biblical but don’t think to ask if their methods are biblical  “In popular culture, believers have constructed an entire parallel culture of artist and entertainers yet few think Christianly about art and aesthetics”  Thinking Christianly means understanding that Christianity gives the truth about the whole of reality, a perspective for interpreting every subject matter Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

7 Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

8  Thinking Christianly: is understanding that Christianity provides the truth about the whole of reality, a perspective for interpreting every subject matter  Ge – God spoke creation into being, John 1.1 calls it the Logos  Logos means not only word but also reason or rationality  The underlying structure of the entire universe reflects the mind of the creator  There is not a fact/value dichotomy in the biblical account  “Nothing has an autonomous or independent identity, separate from the will of the creator. In any subject area we study, we are discovering the laws or creation ordinances by which God structured the world.”  God’s character is reflected in the things He has made  General Revelation – we need to pray “for the spiritual sensitivity that we can” hear” the preaching of creation.” Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

9  Martin Marty – Religion serves two purposes  It is a message of personal salvation  It is a lens for interpreting the world  Evangelicals have done well with the first part but have all but neglected the second part  Some do not think that it is appropriate for Christianity to provide an interpretation of the world  This internalization or privatization of religion is one of the most momentous changes that has ever taken place in Christendom.” – Sidney Mead Historian  We live in two separate worlds trying to straddle the cavern between our day to day life and our religious life Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

10 Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

11  Christians often have a negative view of secular work and raise up “Christian work”  Church contributes to the idea that secular work is not as important as “church work”  Even in Christian schools we are likely to see a few “religious” subjects taught but then teach exactly the same things that are taught in public or secular schools  Christians are almost taught to compartmentalize their faith  Religion is relevant to special areas but when teaching or doing research focus is on conventional wisdom  Secular/sacred split concedes the general playing field to the secular while setting a small field off to the side for our “sacred activities.”  For many, biblical truth has nothing to say in secular fields  “God’s word is not a light to our path and His word is robbed of its power to transform minds” Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

12  Secularists claim that their theory does not reflect any particular viewpoint or philosophy  Promote their own views as unbiased while denouncing religious views as biased and prejudiced  Makes us defensive about our faith  It is a mistake to think that there are views that are unbiased or neutral, that are unaffected by any religious or philosophical assumptions  In the sacred realm there are a number of views depending on one’s religion  But in the secular world it is often thought that we all have access to neutral knowledge where religious and philosophical values do not interfere Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

13  The idea that it is possible to strip the mind of all prior assumptions and religious commitments to get to the unvarnished truths of reason was a foundational thought of the Enlightenment  The idea emerges “that by a method of systematic doubt, the human mind-or Reason-could attain to godlike objectivity and certainty.”  “The hubris of the Enlightenment Period was in thinking that Reason was a transcendent power, providing infallible knowledge.”  Reason then becomes an idol taking the place of God as the source of absolute truth  Reason came to be seen as the storehouse of all truths, separate and independent of Religion Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

14  Classical Christianity has a humbler, more realistic view  “It is recognized that what we count as knowledge is profoundly shaped by our spiritual condition”  St. Augustine: The City of Man and the City of God  Augustine was not addressing the divide between church and state but rather two systems of thought and allegiance  When our actions our animated and directed by our love of God we build the City of God  When our actions are animated and directed by self-love, serving sinful purposes, we are building the City of Man  We all come to the table with a spiritual motivation already in place  Our minds are colored by our spiritual stance – either for God or against Him  Ro we either worship and serve the true God or we worship and serve created things Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

15  Man is a religious being and if we don’t believe in God that doesn’t make us less religious - we just find another “ultimate” principle upon which we base our lives  Ro 1.18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness,  As Christians we often straddle the line as we interpret our experience either in light of divine revelation or some competing theory of thought Church & Culture002 Divided Minds

16  “All facts are theory laden”  What we choose to consider a fact is influenced by theories we bring to the table  We always process data in light of some theoretical framework that we have adopted for understanding the world  “Our calling as Christians is to progressively clean out all the “idols” remaining in our thought life, so that we may pursue every aspect of our lives as citizens of the City of God.” Church & Culture002 Divided Minds


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