Sunday, January 11, 2009

The intellectual side of faith

A realization I came to recently is that I have quite an intellectual faith. Not that I have “head knowledge” without “heart knowledge,” but that the way I am most often amazed by God is when I make an intellectual or academic connection between two things I once thought too diverse, or find out something new about a passage I thought I knew, or get a deeper understanding of the implications of a theological concept. Does that make sense?

So I love the gospel, the good news that it is, and that it is being taught through preaching and music all over the place in so many ways. And I love the more basic worship tunes, and think it is incredibly important to continue doing those songs, and preaching that basic message.

But sometimes I just want something to blow away my brain. The seminar I went to in November with NT Wright at the seminary reminded me of the amazing scope of God and the intellectual side to my faith. I felt like my brain got switched back on. In fact, one of the things I would love to do is to quit working and go back to school – preferably seminary. (So much of the learning I have to do is stupid hoop-jumping so I can keep my teaching license. I'd love to study what really fascinates me instead - currently that would mean theology.)

Sometimes I feel like there are those who would hold the opinion that this is somehow a lesser kind of faith. I don't know if that is just an impression I get from how people talk about faith in general. But it is an impression I have.

Anyway, that's just what I was thinking today.


  1. I can relate -- as Naomi said recently, "Studying biochemistry is like having devotions for me." God made our brains to be amazed by the unbelievable things He has created, and the incredible things He has done for us. Can our faith be complete without an intellectual side? At the very least, faith is enhanced when the intellect is engaged.

  2. here, here!! i could say a lot more about this but i don't really want to write it all on the internet. let me just say, i am so happy to hear someone say what you just said!

  3. AMEN! I relate :)