The church and our minds in modernity
The western evangelical church has in some ways fallen prey to intellectualism of modernity. We have underestimated the importance of the body and heart.
So we feed ourselves facts and theologies and propositions to remember. Knowing God has in some ways been reduced knowing theology as facts on a sheet to be memorized. This is an issue not exclusive to the western evangelical church institution, but is present in the western education system that is based on teaching and rote learning with some critical thinking thrown in (at least the high-school and university systems I went through).
Victoria’s Secret and the human heart
Armed with facts in the mind, we are daily exposed to the ‘real world’ where Victoria’s Secret and Coca-Cola and Peter Jackson are grabbing our hearts and our guts. This is where earthy sensuality and desire is aroused and magnified by companies who are appealing and targeting deeper and more powerful subconscious desires. And we experience a significant pull on our souls towards world that seems to provide an outlet and a target for longing hearts. And perhaps we have got our anthropology wrong – that is we have misunderstood the fundamental ways in which a human being works and thrives. While remaining an intellectually driven people, the world appeals to the subconscious and the heart desires that are perhaps what really drives our habits and behaviours and ultimately our lives.
Knowing God…in fullness
And so we must come back to the fullness of what it means to know God, and there we shall find life, and freedom – Christianity is life and life to the fullest and free-est that involves the the mind and feet and everything in-between. Knowing God is to be known by him so deeply and intimately that your heart beats faster and your breath gets taken away. Knowing God is to weep when he seems closer than your skin or your breath. Knowing God is to know your purpose and place in life as he brings direction, humility and maturity to your life in the way that only he can in the seasons of life he ordains.
To be sure – Knowing God does not exclude studying theology and intellectual concepts and propositions, it is not either/or but fullness – fullness of knowing the word and knowing theology – to study the word and know and memorize the concepts. On the other hand it is the fullness of knowing him intimately as the bridegroom, King and Judge – and in doing so to find your life in it’s perfect place and in full function in the kingdom he has, is and will bring to bear upon the earth.
And so a generation will be found by the King of Glory. They will be known and will know the one whose eyes are like flames of fire. This is the Psalm 24 generation.