A MIND FOR GOD – James Emery White (2006)

“Thinking Christianly” is the purpose of James Emery White’s, A Mind For God.  He writes early on, “While short in length, it sketches out a very large challenge and investment: to develop our minds in light of a biblical worldview that is then used to think Christianly in the world.”

The author reaches his intended goal.  First, he explains the Christian mind and stresses the importance of recognizing and submitting to propositional revelation.  “The Christian mind is a mind that operates under the belief that there is something outside of ourselves that we must take into account.”

Second, the author develops the cultural mind.  In so doing, he explains the cultural battle that faces every Christian, namely, moral relativism, autonomous individualism, narcissistic hedonism, and reductive naturalism.  James Emery White argues essentially that Christ-followers must recognize these cultural competitors and respond in a biblical and winsome way.

Third, the author spends time developing the importance of developing good reading skills in order to nurture the Christian mind and provide a solid foundation for intellectual development.  Scripture, of course, is the centerpiece of the strategy here.

Fourth, there is a certain body of truth one ought to know if he or she is to nurture a properly informed Christian mind.  Included among the most important items are biblical, historical,  and theological literacy.  “Before a mind can contend with culture,” White argues, “it must first ground itself in a sound and vibrant Christian theology.”

The author stresses the need for spiritual discipline: “We need to recapture a sense that the development of our minds is a spiritual discipline.”  He props up specific rules for reading, learning, and reflection.

Finally, James Emery White brings everything together by making an appeal to the lordship of Christ, the issue that stands at the crux of Christian mind development and discipleship.  He writes, “This is the vanguard of Christian thinking – knowing how to live and then working to make the kingdom of God a reality for others to be able to live as well.”

I really enjoyed this book.  James Emery White has the perfect blend of Bible, cultural awareness, passion for the truth, and creativity. A Mind for God is a welcome addition to my own book, Developing a Christian Mind in a Post-Christian World which creates a workable framework for “thinking Christianly.”

4.5 stars

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