Sierra De La Ventana, Argentina. Photographer: Raul Senzacqua
“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Mathew 22:34-39
“We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.” G.K. Chesterton
God is good because He calls us to love and worship Him with all of our minds. In fact according to Jesus to “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” is the great and first commandment. So, why is this good? It is good because God doesn’t call us to check our brains at the doorstep of our faith. We are created beings made in the image of God. We are the pinnacle of God’s creation and our minds are what separate us from the rest of creation. The truth is God isn’t only the great law giver and redeemer, but he is also the great creator, the great artist, the great mathematician, the great physicist, the great engineer of all creation. All of creation speaks of God’s glory and footprint. When we learn about the sciences, the arts, and anything else we have opportunity to learn in finer detail of God’s principles and creation.
So what does it look like to worship and love God with all our minds? Well, the foundation of worshiping God with all our minds is prayer, reading scriptures, praise worship, and meditating on God’s goodness. But it does not end there by any means! When we become Christians God calls us to view and engage all of life with a new lens and outlook. We are to develop what the scriptures refer to as the mind of Christ. Everything about how we approach our lives with our minds can be worship. We worship God in the way we study for our tests, we worship God in how we view people, we worship God in how we grow in our emotions, we worship God in how we use our free time, we worship God when we learn, we worship God in being curious, we worship in trying to put full effort towards a task, we worship in how we think and dissect arguments and biases, and we can worship God in everything we do. Rick Warren says “Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence.” Proverbs chapter three tells us we should acknowledge God in all our ways and He will make our ways straight.
So, you might ask, because God calls us to be rational, learning creatures, does that mean there is a role for faith? Absolutely! Hebrews chapter 11 tells us that “And without faith it is impossible to please him (God), for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” and “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The truth is faith is inescapable. We have to use faith in our every day tasks. We drive our cars around and have faith our brakes will work, we go to our jobs having faith they will have a paycheck for us in a couple of weeks, and we have faith in all kinds of trivial daily things. We need faith not only for trivial tasks, but the truth is no matter what your larger world view is about faith and life, you still need to have faith. In his book Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville writes, “there is no philosopher in the world so great but he believes a million things on the faith of other people and accepts a great many more truths than he demonstrates.”
God provides us two strong arguments for what I see as rational faith. God provides us a finely tuned awe-inspiring world to live in. We live on a space rock that rotates at 1,000 mph, orbiting around the sun at 67,000 mph, with an estimated 100 billion stars in the Milky Way alone. The Psalmist King David says says “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” God also provides us scriptures that point to redemption through Jesus Christ. I believe there are many good reasons why it makes sense to believe in Jesus and accept his claims, not only as a historical figure, but as Lord and savior. I hope to dig in the next two writings into some basic starting points in the case for having a rational faith in Jesus Christ’s claims.