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Featured Christian intellectualism

Discussion in 'Christian Spirituality Forum' started by John Caldwell, May 19, 2020.

  1. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    There seems to be a movement (has been for awhile) towards Christian intellectualism. A person reads the Bible and when he determines the Bible is true then he is considered a Christian. Spiritual maturity becomes the acceptance of different Scriptures into a theological construct.

    Can a person actually be saved under Christian intellectualism without hearing the voice of God, without God moving in their own heart in a meaningfully but subjective way?
     
  2. Jane_Doe22

    Jane_Doe22 Well-Known Member

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    God speaks to us each different ways. If a person is a in-your-head-hearer I don't see a problem with that at all.
     
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  3. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    I think that we all process things differently. God is a God of means, which includes us as His means. For me, I have experienced quite a lot from God communicated in a spiritual way (in a way that I cannot rightfully explain, I guess in a way that is felt rather than articulated). I've occasionally heard God in other ways as well.

    I just do not know that God saves a person and never speaks to them, at least in some way. Maybe that is just because I do believe that we are saved not to escape the wrath to come (although this is certainly one aspect of salvation) but for a purpose that glorifies God.
     
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  4. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    I reacted the same as @Jane_Doe22 to your question.

    We may each perceive our relationship with God so differently, and we also may perceive each other very differently from how we really are with God.

    When you say, moving in your heart in a subjective way, I'd say yes, but with the caveat of a full spectrum of human emotional make-up, from the highly emotional to the highly unemotional.

    My emotions are very much bound up with God, but I remember that when I became a Christian, it was in fact intellectual. I had been searching for Truth, and had read a couple of books on Biblical prophecy, and realized that the Bible was unlike anything else out there. And I knew enough of the general message from when I was in Sunday School, so, I didn't like it, but there it was. It was time to start obeying Jesus.

    Much love!

    PS . . . Speaking of Christian Intellectualism, thank you for reminding me . . . I've been meaning to listen to some C.S. Lewis audiobooks while I sit here at this desk!
     
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  5. Scoot

    Scoot Member

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    I'm struggling to understand the meaning of this sentence.

    Is not the bible the word of God? When I read the bible, am I not able to hear directly from Him through the revelation that He gives me of those scriptures. (Yes - I understand it's possible to read and not have revelation - but for me - when I hear from God, it's not a thought in my head that tells me something apart from scripture - but a revelation of what the scriptures mean).

    If someone reads what the bible says - and believes what the bible said, and follows what the bible says - have they not heard from God, applied that scripture in their lives, and thus believed in Jesus?

    I would find this to be more solid than someone saying that they "heard a voice" and that lead them to their decision. How do we know that the voice they heard was indeed God? We are told to test the Spirits in 1 John. I've seen numerous pastors all "hear from God" and say the direct opposite - which one is right - and more concerning - what spirit(s) are the others actually hearing from?

    I put my trust in the word far more than I do any hearing of voices.

    I was brought up in a Christian home - but my faith was really taught to me - until one day I questioned why I believe what I believe.

    My reasoning was "I'm a Christian because I've been brought up as a Christian. If I was brought up in a Islamic home - would I be Islamic? How do I know that what I believe is indeed true?". This started me on a journey to question all I believed and search for evidence accordingly. Praise God that the evidence came back overwhelmingly to point to the bible being true and correct - unique among all - which led me to trust in what the bible says - and thus put my own faith in Christ. Not because I was doing what I was brought up - but because I searched for myself)
     
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  6. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    What I mean is that God still works and speaks. Not to diminish Scripture at all. But not to diminish the work of God in the lives of His people either. They go together.
     
  7. Scoot

    Scoot Member

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    Hi John,

    Thanks for replying.

    I'm still a bit confused. Please forgive me for my ignorance...

    Isn't that correct? How can someone be a Christian and believe in Christ - if they don't believe the bible to be true?

    We are to believe in Jesus? How do we know the true Jesus Christ apart from the scriptures?

    I apologize if Christian intellectualism is a terminology that's readily understood and I'm missing something or am ignorant on the issue, but it seems to me that a true Christian will believe the Bible to be true - that is the evidence of work of The Holy Spirit in someone's life - and if they can't believe the bible to be true - I would strongly question how someone can be in the faith, yet deny the word of God or not believe in it.

    Again - I'm sorry if I'm missing what you're saying.

    BTW - I recognise your name and that Church avatar as well from somewhere in my past. If memory serves me correctly - do you live in northern Australia? (My guess is maybe from the old k-house forums prior to them being disbanded)?
     
  8. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    I think he's a Georgia (a state in the USA) boy.
     
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  9. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure I can explain, but I will try.

    I grew up knowing the gospel message (I grew up in a Christian home). One day God spoke to me (internally, a spiritual thing). I realized God's love and was saved.

    Another example - I worked at a hospital when I was in my 20's. I knew a lady on night shift. One day God told me to speak to this woman, to share with her the gospel, that she was seeking. The next day I saw her and asked about her faith. She was surprised but said that she was wrestling with faith and knew nothing about Christianity or the Bible. I do not know the outcome but this was God speaking to me other than via Scripture.

    I hope that helps understand my meaning.

    I am a different guy, btw. I'm on the Siuth Carolina Georgia line.
     
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  10. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    Personally, what concerns me is the idea that you accept Jesus into your heart to be a Christian. There is nowhere in scripture where this is taught. On the day of Pentecost, they were told to repent and be baptised. No mention of accepting Jesus into your heart.
     
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  11. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    Hi Marksman,

    I agree with you about man inviting Christ into their heart (although at the same time I know many use this phrase meaning repentance and belief, but I do not like the term... I believe it came from Revelation 3:20 but is a misappropriation of the passage).

    I have to see the context (I do not recall saying I accepted Jesus into my heart).

    If you will, please provide the quote and I will do my best to explain my reasoning.

    Thanks,

    John
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  12. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    The problem with anything relating to God and His words is that we tend to take things too far...to draw the wrong conclusions. Intellectualism is not wrong in itself. We don't want to be anti-intellectual. God's words can stand up very well to an intellectual scrutiny.
     
  13. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    I agree. The "anti" part is normally wrong and often reactionary. We are not our intellect or our emotions, but we are both.
     
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  14. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    I am sorry John but I am not sure what quote you are referring to. Being autistic I am no good at reading between the lines.
     
  15. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Well-Known Member

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    I thought I knew about the Nicene Creed before I got saved. The turning point came when I found out that I was a sinner and needed (the) Savior. (My home church never made that point very clear to me.)

    I am skeptical that anyone can get into Heaven without first acknowledging that. And when it is not ignorance, it is pride.

    Otherwise, my version of "Christian Intellectualism" consists of
    "And you shall love the Lord your God
    • with all your heart,
    • with all your soul,
    • with all your mind, and
    • with all your strength." Mark 12:30 NKJV
    and 2 Corinthians 10:5, below.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  16. Candidus

    Candidus Well-Known Member

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    No one gets "saved" by a better education; we do not "will" our way into the Kingdom. Salvation is not determining to "turn over a new leaf" or "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps." But there is an equal danger... we are warned in Scripture not to preach "Another Christ" than the Christ of the Bible. There are multitudes of "false" Christs that are preached today. Do we just take the luck of the draw that we know the Real Jesus? Or does it behoove us to investigate, and learn the Jesus of the Bible? Study to show yourself approved!

    One does not have to be a theologian to be saved, but if I were given such a gift as forgiveness and reconciliation with God, wouldn't that naturally give someone a hunger to know more about God? I think that to some degree, a truly saved person will desire to learn and be educated to know their Savior better!
     
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  17. Candidus

    Candidus Well-Known Member

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    A little story along these lines.

    It was many years ago when I was in the military, and I was asked by a Chaplain if my wife and I would work with the single soldiers. As Military Chapels go, they are fairly generic. They generally have a Protestant and a Catholic service. So, with a Single Soldiers Group I had a mix from all denominations.

    We did not live on the Post, but had our own apartment, so this allowed us to have cookouts and a place to meet away from the barracks.

    On the first gathering we had at our place, around 10 soldiers showed up. Some were on time, and a few were late.

    Now, I was not brought up in a Christian environment, and when I got saved, I had a LOT of questions. I soon discovered the Christian bookstore and found all kinds of neat works that gave me insight to help answer many questions and understand the Bible. A couple of guys that came on time noticed my "library' which was small at the time, but a lot of books compared to what most people have. I was excited to show them how you could find word meanings, find things in the Bible with a concordance, Bible commentaries, and Bible Dictionary. While I was showing them to those that took an interest, the next car load showed up and the leader of the Single Soldier's group was with them. We had not met yet, and when he came in he observed our conversation with great disapproval. He interrupted our conversation and rebuked me saying, "You do know that being a Christian is not about knowing all those Facts!" "The Bible says, that those that have nothing but Facts are not really Christians!" Now, I fully conceded that Christianity was not about just "Facts" but knowing Christ, but I had not seen that in Scripture... where is it? He said, "It is in Titus chapter 3..." I grabbed my Bible (NASB) and turned to it. His finger pointed out the passage which read... " “A factious man after a first and second admonition refuse, knowing that such a one has been perverted and sins, being self-condemned.” I thought "Wow! The Bible says THAT"? I was stunned by what I saw! I had a study Bible and glanced at the notes: Factious- one who willfully chooses for himself and sets up a faction... At that point I realized that I bought into his understanding of what "Factious" meant. I responded, "I don't disagree with what you are telling me, but I'm not sure that "factious" means what you are saying" and I read the note to him. All he could respond was "Oh..." He was pretty quiet after that public demonstration! :)

    I learned a Biblical principle that day... "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him." Prov. 18:17.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  18. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    I often find myself pointing out (especially to KJV people) "You do know that you just interpreted the complete opposite of what was written there, don't you?" I think it is very helpful to read about a half dozen different assessments about any particular verse you plan to hang your hat on, before you dig in with an obstinate "doctrine."

    Truthfully, most of the church could invest more time in "intellectualism"; it's not a bad word. It sometimes helps keep your foot out of your mouth.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  19. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    I apologize if I was clouding the issue. I did not mean my post to be implying.

    I was referring to your comment to me "Personally, what concerns me is the idea that you accept Jesus into your heart to be a Christian" in post #10.

    I never said anything about "accepting Jesus into my heart". That is not a belief I hold. I am not sure where that idea originated on this thread.

    John
     
  20. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    I wasn't implying that you did John. it was an added comment about what bothers me.
     
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