Apologetics may be simply defined as the defense of the Christian faith. The word "apologetics" derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used as a speech of defense.

How Does One Develop a Christian Mind?

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  • How Does One Develop a Christian Mind?

    by J.P. Moreland

    “I want to develop a Christian mind, but I don’t know how.” This attitude is both common and understandable. That we are to develop our minds as Christians is not in doubt. We are admonished to love God with our mind (Matthew 22:37: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.), be transformed by its renewal (Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.), and be prepared to give thoughtful answer to questions about faith (1 Peter 3:15: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:).

    A mature Christian mind has two aspects to it. First, it is a mind that has formed the habit of being focused on God constantly throughout the day. It is a mind preoccupied with God and directed regularly toward Him in prayer and meditation:

    Psalm 16:8
    I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

    Isaiah 26:3
    Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

    Luke 18:1
    And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

    Romans 12:12
    Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

    But how can one do this and still perform one’s daily tasks? Fortunately, people can do more than one thing at the same time. While driving or centering one’s attention on a task, one can still be aware of God in the boundaries of one’s attention. And one can bring God to the center of prayerful focus at various times throughout the day.

    Two habits can make it easier for you to focus on God constantly. First, memorize four or five Bible passages that really speak to you. Each passage can be from one to several verses in length. Now, make it a practice to pray these passages to the Lord throughout the day. As you pray through a passage phrase by phrase, use it to pray about things of concern to you. Second, regularly ponder these passages or other scriptural readings, thinking of what they mean, of how you can internalize them and how you can promote them to others.

    The second aspect of a mature Christian mind is one that sees all of life in light of a Christian worldview and is growing in intellectual excellence. A worldview is the sum total of all the things one believes, especially in regard to reality, truth, knowledge, and value. A Christian worldview is biblically grounded set of beliefs about all of life, from work, recreation, and finances to God, life after death, and morality. One tries to think of all of life in light of the teachings of holy Scripture and, more specifically, of the Lord Jesus. There is no secular/sacred separation in such a mind.

    All of life is an occasion for discipleship and worship for a mature Christian mind. Further, and intellectually excellent mind is one that is informed, that makes important distinctions when a less mature fails to do so, and that has deeper and deeper insights into issues of importance. To develop such excellence, one must regularly read, listen to tapes, expose oneself to excellent teaching. One must also be willing to engage others-- believers and unbelievers-- in conversations about important worldview issues. Such regular practice, if combined with a growing ability to listen nondefensively, will bring motivation and opportunity for regular grown in intellectual excellence."
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