Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Faith and the Intellect

In a recent McLaurin Institute newsletter there was an interview with their campus minister at the University of Minnesota, Pete Lackey.

Here is one of the questions and Pete’s answer:

Institute: Can you describe your ministry to students at the Institute?

Lackey: The Mars Hill version is a really unique one. In a word, it’s all about assisting students with their “cognitive conversion.” That is, in the fragmented world in which we live, it’s really easy for students (and others) to embrace a faith that is “spiritually” robust but “intellectually” inadequate. The result is an unhealthy compartmentalization of faith, life and studies—and eventually vocation. My goal with the Mars Hill Students is to help students first to realize and then to actualize the truth that Jesus Christ exercises jurisdiction over every realm of thought and life—even the university! Together, we explore what this means as students and as future leaders in the various spheres of our culture.

Minnesota is in the Bible Belt of the north so there might be “faith that is spiritually robust but intellectually inadequate.” Here in the Northwest I have not seen much “robust faith.” In quite a few instances I have seen the opposite where the intellectual seems more than sufficient and the faith is non existent except in words.

I remember when Regent College was founded at the University of British Columbia. It had the same intention as Pete Lackey’s to being the intellectual understanding up to the faith. In the fall of 1979 I spent a semester there. I thought that the College did a wonderful job with the intellectual. The college was not addressing the need for “faith.” The faith was not there as thought in the premise. The students came there to become godly. Many were disillusioned. Salvation and godliness is the need. If intellectual answers meet the need for them, let’s go for it. I do not think it is the need or the solution to the need.

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