CHRISTIAN INTELLECTUALISM

One of the problems these days in Christianity is that it has been reduced to just an “emotional” experience.  Emotions change from one day, one hour, or one minute to the next.  That’s why you see so many people making professions of faith during emotional worship services and why many of those people don’t come back to church.  They made a decision based on emotion, not because the Holy Spirit opened up their mind and heart to the truth of God’s Word and they repented.  But churches these days are all about using emotionally stirring music and drama and other gimmicks to coerce people into making a “decision” for Christ instead of just teaching the Word as it should be taught and letting the Holy Spirit do His work through sound preaching/teaching.  They put more confidence in the emotional gimmicks than they do the actual Word of God.

Used to be, Christians were some of the most intellectual folks on the planet.  Preachers like Jonathan Edwards, John Harvard (for whom Harvard University is named), Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones, to name a few, were VERY intelligent and well studied in theology.  Jonathan Edwards began attending Yale at age 13 and became president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).  John Harvard was a huge proponent of education and not only gave half of his inheritance to help start Harvard University, but he also donated his entire collection of writings to the school.  C.H. Spurgeon started his own seminary that is still going to this day in London, England, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a medical doctor before he entered into the ministry.  I have no doubt that these men made sure that their congregants were just as well versed in theology as they were.

Sadly, over the last century or two, emotionalism has taken over intellectualism.  Have a pastor bring up the word “theology” and you’d think he was demon possessed because people will run away in fear.  Some even just down right despise the notion that they should learn theology.  They say, “Oh, heart knowledge of God is more important than head knowledge.”  I disagree.  First of all, you have to know what “theology” is.  “Theos” means God and “logos” means “the study of”.  So, theology is “the study of God”.  I propose to you that gaining the intellectual knowledge of God FIRST is more important because how can you have the proper emotional response to Him if you don’t know ABOUT Him?  The Bible says to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).  If studying theology wasn’t important, I don’t think Jesus would have included the word “mind” in that verse.

I’m thankful that there are still some INTELLECTUAL pastors out there who put their confidence in the sound preaching of the Word instead of using ridiculous emotional gimmicks to “seduce” people into making a false profession of faith.  Unfortunately, there are false converts out there walking around basing their faith on an emotional experience instead of being drawn to Christ through sound biblical preaching.

 

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