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By Grant Everly

I’ve been extremely excited about our current sermon series at impact. It’s all about asking tough questions and navigating doubt. I’m loving it because I think it engages a segment of the population that can sometimes be forgotten: the intellectually driven-Christian.

I have a friend who will tell you that having a discussion about predestination, evolution as it concerns the Christian, philosophies surrounding God, etc. helps him more than anything else to grow in his faith. For him, questioning and working out who God is on a moral, philosophical and scientific level is a means to great growth, but the unfortunate reality for many who are similar to this friend, is that the importance of the mind in the Christian life isn’t always stressed by the Church, and I can’t think of a more unfortunate statement to make.

To the world we’ve presented the notion that to be a Christian you must conceal your questions and accept Christ and the Bible on blind faith, but this couldn’t be more false. It is possible, and I would argue extremely helpful, to go deep into the realms of science or philosophy and stay in places that are uncomfortable so that we can emerge afterward with a very well-articulated and solid faith.

icYouth 3.20.15 God is So BigThe fact of the matter is that God is so big that His reach doesn’t stop with the Bible. If God is who we say He is, we should be able to find His finger prints in all areas, whether that be a Biology classroom or a book on the nature of morality. We shouldn’t shy away from this notion. If reading a more philosophical work or having a conversation that makes your head swirl isn’t for you, that’s totally ok. Not all people are geared that way, and that’s part of what makes the world so unique; however, we need to make sure we are appealing to all people, in particular those who are intellectually-driven.

One example I love when talking about the engaging of the intellect in regard to Christianity is Paul. A while back I read Acts and counted each time it says that Paul “argued,” “discoursed” or “reasoned” with a group of people. I counted at least ten times that this occurs. This number may not seem impressive, but given that Acts is only twenty-eight chapters, it’s apparent that engaging intellectual discussion was key to Paul’s ministry. In other words, engaging the mind was central to sharing the gospel with a certain sect of the population. When I read about the ministry of Paul, I can’t help but wonder if we take the time to minister similarly to those who will check out in the absence of intellectual rigor.

So how are we doing in engaging the mind in our Christian lives? Again, maybe talking philosophy just makes you want to puke, or you appreciate it to an extent, but don’t care to dwell on it too much. This is ok. The intellectually-driven Christian is just a small part of the body of Christ that is the Church. But still, we need to do as Paul explains in Colossians 2:18-19. We must ensure that we don’t lose connection with the head instead engaging it.

Grant headshotGrant Everly is a senior at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.

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