An invitation to the intellectual pursuit of God

by Travis Dickinson

“Love the Lord your God with…all your mind” ~Jesus

The Command to Love

Jesus commands us to love God with all of who we are—our hearts, souls and minds (Matt. 22:37). One might find this as a command problematic since love isn’t the sort of thing we can turn on or off. When something is lovely, we experience loving feelings and affections toward that thing. And when it is not, we don’t.

But this of course assumes that all Jesus had in mind was the mere feeling of love. What seems more plausible in context is that Jesus was not dictating certain feelings we ought to have but dictating a certain approach. He was telling us that we ought to turn our affections, the deepest part of us, and our minds toward the relational pursuit of God.

I think we have at least a grasp of what it means to pursue God with our hearts and affections. Most Christians regularly pursue God in an impassioned way each week in a worship service. It’s perhaps less clear, but I think we have an idea of what’s involved with pursuing God with our souls. But I don’t think we have the first clue what it means to love God with our minds.

Pursuing God Intellectually

I want to suggest that loving God with our minds is to pursue God intellectually.

Okay, but what does it mean to pursue God intellectually? The picture that I’d like to paint is one where we bring our deep and difficult questions, our doubts, and our intellectual struggles into our pursuit of God. We need to think of this as a normal part of discipleship.

Unfortunately, we are not often encouraged to pursue God in this way…

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