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.CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CHRISTIAN MIND
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fifth, the Christian
knows that the most important truths are revealed.
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