I recently heard a Christian speaker say, “Thinking is the
devil’s territory; I just want to experience God.” He
continued, “Hearing God is a totally rightbrained
activity. We need to turn off our analytical thinking and
lean into our intuition.”
He’s wrong, totally wrong, and dangerously wrong. But I
think (oops, I feel) that I understand his dismissal of
the analytical. He is reacting.
He’s reacting to the modern era’s enthronement of
reason. In the modern age (which began with the
Enlightenment), rational thinking became the epicenter,
the very essence, of humanity. So Descartes —a prominent
rationalist—penned his famous declaration, “I think
therefore I am.”
Many people (including the speaker above) react against
crowning reason as king. They see too many
“intellectual” Christians who spend too many hours
infralapsarianism * (who makes these terms up?);
such highbrows might hold right doctrine, but they often
live harsh, anxious, and
miserable lives. Something isn’t working.
So nowadays we reject reasoning. Instead we feel,
intuit, or “just believe” because it “seems right.” We
prefer the right-brain, we choose imagination over
discernment (unless the discernment is based on a gut
feel), and we leave thinking to those brainiac eggheads.
The Enlightenment divorced the heart. Today we chop off
the head. Both approaches are stupid. Divorcing the
heart doesn’t help us think better, and a lobotomy
doesn’t help us feel better.
Guillotining the head is not an improvement over
stabbing the heart.
We are meant to be whole people, neither a heartdeprived
Tin Man nor a lobotomized tomato.
In the Old Testament, God commands, “You shall love the
Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength”
(Deut. 6:5, edited). But when Jesus quotes that passage,
he inserts a word, “You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Mark
Did you ever notice that? Why did Jesus add “mind”?
Because the Greeks are the ones who birthed the idea of
divorcing the head from the heart, and their word for
“heart” failed to capture the full meaning of the Hebrew
word. We are meant to love him with our whole being.
Including our mind. God made us both thinking and
intuitive beings, and “What God has joined together, let
no man cast asunder [or separate].”
whole brain theory thing
The Greeks birthed the baby of head vs. heart; the
Enlightenment re-birthed it; now believers proclaim it
born again, baptizing it with the right-brain/left-brain
idea. They say we only hear God in our right-brain,
intuitively and spontaneously. Just empty your logical,
The problem is, this newborn right-brain idea is
stillborn. And neither scientific nor biblical.
The right-brain/left-brain idea came from the work of
Roger Sperry who studied a specific set of brain surgery
patients (however Sperry himself claimed the idea has no
broader value beyond those specific patients). Numerous
studies prove false the modern myth of any right-brain/
left-brain dominance (see these Psychology,
The analytical (left-brained) person analyzes better
when also using the right-brain, and the creative
(right-brained) artist creates better when also using
And we don’t hear God better through our intuitive
right-brain. Rather, divorcing the two halves of our
brain disrupts any ability to communicate at all.
Halfbrained thinking is half-as… (well, you know what I
Rejection of the right or left brain is hare-brained.
God means us to be whole-brained.
I don’t know how to say it plainer to our
feelingdominated society of believers; but Christianity
means thinking, and thinking hard. Yes, it’s more than
mere mental activities. But not less.
To feel good, we need to believe good, and believing
good begins with thinking good.
When Jesus addresses anxious people—who feel bad
because they’re scared—he says, “Consider the lilies,
how they grow: they neither toil nor spin…” (Luke
12:27). He instructs us to, “Consider.” Jesus says the
answer to bad
is good thinking.
And thinking a lot. The Greek word for “consider” (katanoeo)
means to think hard, to ponder furiously, to immerse
ourselves in contemplation; to scrutinize until we
perceive. Jesus says to ponder God’s approach with
lilies, to think and re-think, until we perceive God
We don’t stop at thinking (that’s the Greek,
Enlightenment, left-brain heresy). We “consider” until
we begin to see God. It is seeing God that leads our
hearts from anxiety to confidence.
retake our vows
Let’s divorce ourselves from culture’s stupid answers,
and let’s re-marry our head and heart.
Try this experiment. God frequently tells us to,
“Remember!” Take five minutes and actively
remember an action of God (the lilies, crucifixion or
resurrection, or one of his answers to a prayer). Ponder
furiously his actions, his goodness, love, and
As we consider with our minds something changes in our
hearts. His great riches overshadow today’s credit card
bills. We begin to see God with the eyes of our hearts.
Remembering joins together—it re-members—our
and heart. Besides, a wedding is always more fun than a
* I’m neither supralapsarianism nor infralapsarianism.
I’m super-napsarian. Whenever I try to understand those
speculative schemes, I just want to take a super, long