Christianity is Education Itself

From book 3, chapter 2, of Mere Christianity: The ‘Cardinal Virtues’ – C.S. Lewis says:

If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all.  But, fortunately, it works the other way round.  Anyone who is honestly trying to be a Christian will soon find his intelligence being sharpened: one of the reasons why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself.  That is why an uneducated believer like John Bunyan was able to write a book that has astonished the whole world.

I believe the book of Bunyan’s Lewis is referring to is Pilgrim’s Progress; it is a fascinating read if you haven’t read it.  But that is besides the point.  What I’m concerned with here is how Lewis can say something like this?  It is a huge claim to say that once one becomes a Christian that they’ll no doubt notice their intellectual equipment functioning better.  Does this imply that a non-Christian mind is not functioning as it ought to?  I think so.  Can he really say this?  Yes.  The Bible even agrees.  Romans 12:1-2 says this, “Therefore I urge you brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God, this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind; then you will know and attest to what God’s will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

Did you see it in there?  There is a link between this passage in Romans and the claim Lewis makes.  Romans 12:1-2 clearly states that when one offers his body as a living sacrifice to God in worship, the mind goes along with it!  It is not possible to offer your body to God in worship while keeping your mind behind for yourself, it goes too.  When the mind goes into God, it is no longer functioning according to the pattern of this world. Rather it is being transformed and renewed.  Or in Lewis’ terms it begins to “sharpen itself” in a way that is more real than it has ever known.

I wonder what some of you think about this claim.  Some of you are very anti-intellectual I’m sure, while others of you are very pro-intellectual.  Those positions are neither here nor there, when you offer your body to God, you offer everything, and because everything goes to Him and because everything that goes to Him is transformed, nothing remains the same.  Even the mind.  Perhaps this is why Paul called Christians “thinkers” in 2 Timothy 2?  Perhaps this is also why Jesus told us to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength” in Mark 12:30?

Bottom line?  The mind glorifying to God is the mind being renewed by Him.  A renewed mind becomes renewed by thinking, pondering, reflecting, and pouring over the glorious Truths about God revealed in His Word.  This is how the mind transforms and “educates” itself in God’s presence.  Reader, don’t settle for an obese brain.  Don’t waste your mind.  Use it for the glory of God.  After all wasn’t that why it was made in the first place, to glorify God?

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