Tuesday, April 22, 2008

ideas do matter

Over the weekend I heard on Krista Tippett's program, Speaking of Faith, an interview between three generations of evangelical leaders, Charles Colson, Greg Boyd and Shane Claiborne. They were talking about evangelical politics, and it's worth a listen.

All three represent different perspectives, though Boyd and Claiborne are closer in their perspectives than they are to Colson. At the same time Colson presents a respected and respectable Christian point of view backed up in the writings of C.S. Lewis and other great influencers of the Christian faith such as Augustine and Reinhold Niebuhr. I do tend to side more with Boyd and Claiborne in their more Anabaptist and I believe, early church perspective. But the debate goes on.

What I liked best about the interview is that I felt there was more light from all three of them, than any heat. It was civil, and we need this in our culture today, which is remarkably uncivil in so many places. I respect and esteem all three, and would gladly learn from any of them, and I would learn alot.

But the point I want to make in this post is that ideas do matter. What we think does impact how we live. The differences between the three evangelical leaders are not significant enough that they can't have good fellowship together as brothers, or do good works in cooperation with each other. It does mean, however, that one will serve his country in the military and the others will not. One will be politically active in and as part of the system and the others will not. Though all three want to influence society as the salt and light in Jesus that we in Jesus are. I actually think all three have some truth in what they're saying, though again I do side more with an Anabaptist position myself, but not one that refuses to engage culture. After all, what we are about in Jesus, is not apolitical. It involves all of life.

I like ideas and thinking, and have been considered by other Christians at times as a mind person while they are Spirit people. Or a person who would rather have intellectual knowledge than heart knowledge. While there may be a grain of truth in what they're thinking, I believe the mind is important in loving God, and that ideas do matter. Let's not look at ideas apart from God and our relationship with God in Jesus, and our walk in God's will in Jesus in this world. And let's work hard to understand what we believe and why, and to keep open and honest in this endeavor in our commitment to follow Jesus.

What idea do you have here about ideas?


Mike said...

I think ideas and conversation are vital for our growth and understanding. As soon as these things become surpressed we stop florishing.

Beth B said...

What do you suppose is the significance of Jesus' addition, "and your mind" in Luke 10:27 to the commandment to love the Lord our God with all your heart, soul and strength in Deuteronomy 6:5?

Please, don't let anyone tell you you are "less" spiritual if you seek to be faithful with your mind as well as these other parts. Jesus is the Logos! Some Christians seem to forget that or want to re-define that powerful Johanine term in a more narrow, less robust way.

It's a dangerous thing to do. We can sin by omission as well as comission. Let us have the MIND of CHRIST!

Ted M. Gossard said...


I do have to work on not being just abstract but sharing my life or stories in the process, especially from my own life. This seems to help others connect better with their lives.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Beth B.,

Good point!

We certainly are to love God with all that we are.

And it is interesting that Jesus added "mind" to that passage.


Anonymous said...

it seems to me that the spiritual heart and the mind are connected. both are used in unison. i think that the heart and mind help eachother with processing spiritual and worldly information so that we can make choices and give instructions to our body.

preacherman said...

You are so right as always brother Ted.

I hope you had a great earth day!
We are discussing it on my blog if you would like to give your 2 cents on the subject. I always appreciate your advice and godly wisdom. You are such an inspiration to us all.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Again you're extremely generous.

I'm getting around late this morning but will go over there later today, probably late afternoon or evening. Your post has great discussions, and really is more of a Jesus community than here. Or at least has the opportunity to emulate that more, I think.

L.L. Barkat said...

Sometimes I have wondered which way it travels... if the way we live influences our ideas or if our ideas influence the way we live. You know?

Ted M. Gossard said...

I would think both.

When we follow Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, that's bound to affect our thinking towards God's will made known to us by the Spirit through Scripture and the church and directly. And when we live or conduct ourselves according to a worldly code or way, then we'll end up being conformed in our thinking to that way.

But also when we give our minds over to God's truth found in Scripture as revealed in Jesus for us, then that will surely impact how we live. Our understanding and thinking will move us to repent or act in certain ways.

So surely both, I would think. Though I'm confident you'll see just as clearly to express this in a better way.

But surely ideas affect the way we live, and the way we live affects our ideas. Both are important in God's call to us in Jesus.

Alot to think and seek to live on in this. I want to do better in both.