Monday, April 9, 2012

A Christian Mind

 
Harry Blamires “The Christian Mind: How should a Christian think?
“There is no longer a Christian mind. It is a commonplace that the mind of modern man
has been secularized. For instance, it has been deprived of any orientation towards the
supernatural. Tragic as this fact is, it would not be so desperately tragic had the Christian mind
held out against the secular drift. But unfortunately the Christian mind has succumbed to the
secular drift with a degree of weakness and nervelessness unmatched in Christian history. It is
difficult to do justice in words to the complete loss of intellectual morale in the twentieth centuryChurch. One cannot characterize it without having recourse to language which will
sound hysterical and melodramatic.”

“There is no longer a Christian mind. There is still, of course, a Christian ethic, a
Christian practice, and a Christian spirituality. As a moral being, the modern Christian
subscribes to a code other than that of the non-Christian. As a member of the Church, he
undertakes obligations and observations ignored by the non-Christian. As a spiritual being, in
prayer and meditation, he strives to cultivate a dimension of life unexplored by the non-
Christian. But as a thinking being, the modern Christian has succumbed to secularization. He
accepts religion - its morality, its worship, its spiritual culture; but he rejects the religious view
of life, the view which sets all earthly issues within the context of the eternal view which
relates all human problems - social, political, cultural - to the doctrinal foundations of the
Christian Faith, the view which sees all things here below in terms of God’s supremacy and
earth’s transitoriness, in terms of Heaven and Hell.”

But what is a Christian mind? Part two of the book identifies six characteristics.
1. A supernatural orientation. There is more to reality than the here and now and what we can see.
2. An awareness of evil and what it has done in perverting “the noblest things.”
3. A conception of truth that depends on God’s revelation.
4. An acceptance of authority. We must know what God requires and submit to it. He is the final authority in all of reality, things present and things to come.
5. A concern for the person, realizing that people are not machines. Human life has value.
6. A sacramental cast. In a sacramental view of life, the Christian mind recognizes things, such as relationships and sexual love, as God’s ways of opening reality to us.