“Ignorance is not a Christian virtue.” – J.P. Moreland

love-god-mind-morelandThe following quote comes from the section “A Biblical Sketch of the Value of Reason,” where J.P. Moreland treats the nature of God as the God of reason and revelation.

What a contrast the God of the Bible is with the god of Islam, who is so transcendent that his ways are inscrutable (beyond understanding)! How different He is from the irrational, fickle, finite deities of the Greek pantheon or other polytheistic religions! These mythological ‘gods’ exhibit the folly of human emotion and the danger of ignoring revelation. The God of the Bible requires teachers who diligently study His Word and handle it accurately (compare 2 Timothy2:15 and 1 Timothy 4:15-16). He demands of His evangelists that they give rational justification to questioners who ask them why they believe as they do (1 Peter 3:15). On one occasion His chief apostle, Paul, emphasized that his gospel preaching was by way of ‘words of truth and rationality’ (Acts 26:25, NASB) when Festus charged that his great learning was driving him mad (Acts 26:24, NASB). No anti-intellectualism here! By contrast, the monistic religions of the East promote gurus who offer koans, paradoxes like the sound of one hand clapping, upon which to meditate in order to free the devotee from dependence on reason and enable him to escape the laws of logic. The Buddhist is to leave this mind behind, but the Christian God requires transformation by way of its renewal (Romans 12:1-2).

Is it any wonder that we Christians started the first universities and have planted schools and colleges everywhere our missionaries have gone? Is it any wonder that science began in Christian Europe because of the belief that the same rational God who made the human mind also created the world so the mind would be suited to discern the world’s rational structure placed there by God? God is certainly not a cultural elitist, and He does not love intellectuals more than anyone else. But it needs to be said in the same breath that ignorance is not a Christian virtue if those virtues mirror the perfection of God’s own character.

Taken from J.P. Moreland’s Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul (NavPress, 1997), pp.44-45.

Published in: on October 5, 2016 at 6:41 AM  Leave a Comment  

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