When starting this blog, I was playing around with titles. What would convey the essence of what this blog was about? Perhaps a quirky play on words, I do love a good pun. But then would it be too obscure for people to understand this blog was for them? Did I need to “call a spade a spade”–make the title direct? Yes, that was best, I thought.
I had somewhat decided on The Intellectual Christian. But I asked my son whether he liked that or the Christian Intellectual better. He said “The Christian Intellectual places the focus on ‘Intellectual’, and Christian is just a describer. In The Intellectual Christian, the focus is on Christian.”
Bam. Layers of meaning from the mouth of a young man. (And obviously I took his advice).
We are Christians first. We were created to work most easily in thought and concept, but our main and only true identity is Christian. It is rather like a blue Ford. The truck is a Ford. It has a Ford chassis, a Ford logo, is identifiable as a Ford (for those Chevy folk out there, no snark about what Ford stands for). Blue is the color the Ford was painted, perhaps as a mobile advertisement for a company that has a blue logo, but take the paint away and the truck is still a Ford. It is claimed by the Ford company.
Therefore ‘Intellectual’ is our color, if you will. Our minds are crafted by God for specific purposes, but our identity is still in Christ Jesus. If we were suddenly made simple, our true identity would not change, just perhaps our sphere of influence or a few tasks.
Why am I exhorting this? Because it is especially necessary, given our probable mission on the earth, to remember not to confuse our identity with our description. It is tempting to look unto our own strength, plus I believe at least part of our purpose is to reclaim the ground we are losing in academia and science, art and philosophy. We are not going into mission fields of warm and generous and eager natives who yearn to hear the Good News, but rather we are marching boldly into openly hostile territory where the enemy has envenomed the minds of the lost with pride and arrogance. We are marching into battle, not a picnic, with people who may be as intelligent and cagey as we are.
Indeed it is not our knowledge with which we will accomplish our main mission, which is to be a witness and steer the souls of men through love by Christ, but rather with the power and wisdom of God. If we try to rely on our own, perhaps-impressive-but-still-earthly-and-human intellect, we will fail. If we keep our focus on the Lord and His power and our position in Him, we will be useful to others and glorifying to Him.