June 2007 - Vol. 9
Man’s Mind in God’s Perspective – Part I

How can we transform our mind 
from a secular stronghold to a place
inhabited by the Spirit of God?

by Bruce Yocum


Bruce Yocum is President of Christ the King Association and a member of the International Executive Council of The Sword of the Spirit. This article was originally published in New Covenant Magazine, March 1977. Bruce states he would write this article somewhat differently today, but he is happy enough to let us reproduce it in its original form. The article will continue next month. 
There is a significant difference between the Christian mind and the secular mind. The Christian mind approaches life from a different point than the secular mind and moves toward a different goal. This profoundly affects the way the Christian looks at life. I am indebted to Harry Blamire’s book, The Christian Mind, for fresh insight into the characteristics of the Christian, as opposed to the secular, mind.

First, a Christian approaches and thinks about life from the perspective of eternity.
He affirms that there is life after death, that there is more to our existence than the life we experience in this world. He is convinced that there is a second death which is more conclusive and decisive that physical death.

Because a Christian is not fettered by a view of life bound to this world alone, his mind operates in a radically different sphere than the secular mind. A Christian hears Jesus ask, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” and immediately responds, “Nothing, absolutely nothing.” He agrees with Paul that “if for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Why? Because if there is no eternal life then this life on earth has been in vain, his hopes a mockery. But he knows that “in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,” and that from,” and that from him comes “the resurrection of his eternal perspective, the hope and the promise that shape all his thinking.

Second, the Christian views reality from a supernatural perspective.
He believes that God acts in the world in a way that goes beyond natural processes. It comes as no surprise to him that God heals, that he intervenes to alter the direction of events, that he reveals his mind to his people.

Over the past century, efforts to “demythologize” Scripture have done considerable damage to this perspective. Often, demythologizing Scripture means stripping it of its supernatural elements and constructing a theory that explains those events in natural terms. According to this viewpoint, no one in Scripture is healed, no demons are cast out, and no miracles occur because such events are “myths” told in supernatural terms in order to make a certain point, or to convey a sense of God’s power, or for any number of reasons. Although there may have been some good insights derived from demythologizing Scripture, the overall effect has been to undermine the Bible and weaken the Christian’s supernatural perspective.

At its root, in fact, this kind of thinking is incompatible with faith in God because it contends that the Lord does not act in a miraculous way in the world. It limits God, deciding what he can and cannot do. Over against that, the Christian must constantly reaffirm that God is present in the world, continually acting to guide and heal his people.

Third, the Christian mind perceives truth as objective, knowable and universal. 
Opposed to this is the current popular understanding of truth as subjective, unknowable, and relative to circumstances. The latter view is easy to characterize. Imagine that you’ve just told someone about the Lord and the changes he’s accomplished in your life. As you finish, your listener says, “That’s great! I’m glad you can get into that.” “Well, wait a minute,” you say. “I just told you about the Lord, the creator of the universe, and how he’s working in my life.” “I’m happy for you,” your listener responds. “I’m glad it does something for you. But me, I like to meditate. Reality is different for me, it doesn’t work the same way it does for you. You relate to your reality and I’ll relate to mine.”

What an enormous perversion of the truth! In essence, the listener is saying that whatever helps you become “a good person, ‘whatever makes you feel happy and “fulfilled,” is reality and truth for you. The secular mind of today does not admit the possibility of an ultimate truth and reality that applies to all men and women regardless of how it makes them feel. But the Christian asserts that there is objective, ultimate truth that everyone can know—in fact, that it is critical for everyone to know. Jesus didn’t come to the Pharisees and say, “Well, you’re not accepting me but that’s okay. I can see where you’re coming from and it’s evident that you’re not ready for this.” He came bringing the truth; if they rejected him, they rejected truth.

The Christian must resist the tendency of the secular mind to reduce the truth to likes and dislikes, to current ideas and popular trends. The Christian knows that ultimate truth is objective, firmly established, steady, and reliable. It is not conceived of one day and discarded the next.

Fourth, the Christian submits his mind to the authority of God and his word.
To an age in revolt against authority, this submission is astounding, distasteful. The secular mind insists that it is its own authority, that as far as possible it is free from the restraints of an order imposed from above. The Christian mind, however, recognizes that the very nature of God himself calls forth complete obedience. Confronted with the awesome, all-powerful, eternal God, the Christian responds in utter submission. For him, there can be no shifting back and forth, no arbitrary recognition of God’s authority in one situation and rejection of it in another.

Fifth, the Christian knows that the most important truths are revealed.
In other words, the truths that lie at the very heart of reality, the truths concerning who God is and who we are, have been revealed to us by God himself. We could never have learned of the Trinity or the love of God on our own. The secular mind, on the other hand, operates apart from revelation and, consequently, has cast off the most significant truths of life, asserting the primacy of revealed truth doesn’t at all denigrate truths arrived at through science and other disciplines; it simply puts them in the proper perspective. No matter what technological advances we make, no matter what areas of study we pursue, if we’re not laying hold of the truths that God has revealed our studies won’t much avail.

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