By: Jason Kline | July 17, 2017
Loving God with all of our mind is what I believe to be a Biblical command. Apologists often defend the practice of apologetics using Luke 10:27 and loving God with all your mind. However, we cannot also neglect to love the Lord with all your heart and soul and strength (Luke 10:27). Loving God with all your mind and only with your mind COULD led you too much pain and agony (burnout) if not downright insanity and spiritual bankruptcy. God rescued me through the lives and works of scholars like J.P. Moreland, Dallas Willard, A.W. Tozer, Dr. Tim and Lydia McGrew and my personal friend and mentor, Brian Chilton. These folks supplied pastoral care in helping me see the forest through the trees when times of confusion set in, helping me keep the main thing the main thing.
Proving that God exists is not enough. I know of many atheists who can make a strong case for Christianity, yet they remain atheists. Apologetics is not a discipline in which we aim to win arguments. It is a discipline in which God uses, through us, to win souls and to lead one into communion with God. Without the discipline of prayer, the battle is already lost.
Loving God with the Mind Through Worship
The ultimate question the apologist should be able to answer is not “Does God exist?” but, “Knowing that God exists, what/where shall I do/go from here?” The apologist should answer: “Worship Him that exists!”
Worship requires a transformation of mind, body and soul. Communion with God is done through the spiritual disciplines; among which I’d like to focus on two: Prayer and Sabbath (rest). But first, I’d like to explain how the spiritual disciplines impact the soul and how that relates to the body.
According to Moreland, “The ancient Greeks and the Fathers of the church were right to believe that a virtuous, mature person is an individual with a well-ordered soul.” With that in mind, it is pertinent we also answer the question, “What am I?” Moreland answers, “Historically and biblically, Christianity has held to a dualistic notion of the human being. A human being is a functional unity of two distinct realities – body and soul. More specifically, I am my soul and I have a body,” says Moreland. This fact alone speaks to the need for a well ordered soul highly important to the virtuous life, for, according to Moreland, “The soul is a substantial, unified reality that informs the body.” What informs the soul impacts the body. And, since, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness–how deep is that darkness!” (HCSB, Matt. 6:22-23). Moreland would argue that we do not see with our eyes, we see with our souls (the faculty of sight). He states, “The eyes do not see. I (my soul) see with or by means of the eyes.” We can also say the same about the difference between the mind and the brain. They are not the same but they do interact. Indeed, “the soul and the body relate to each other in a cause-effect way.” Since we are a soul, soul care is indispensable to the quality of one’s life.
Loving God with the Mind with a Well-Ordered Soul
A virtuous life is one who has a well-ordered soul. A well-ordered soul requires much conditioning – like that of a man athlete – to achieve wellness.
Notice where the early church fathers talk about a well-ordered soul. They are implying a multi-dimensional aspect of the soul. Moreland lists five states of the soul. “These states are, “sensations, thoughts, beliefs, desires and acts of the will.” Within the soul are many capacities grouped into faculties. The soul is not just an immaterial ball of goo. We possess faculties of the soul such as the emotional faculty (fear and love), faculty of the will (ability to choose), mind (contains thoughts and beliefs) and spirit (ability to relate to God). According to Moreland, “In general, a faculty is a compartment of the soul that contains a natural family of related capacities.”
Loving God with the Mind through Counseling
Unfortunately, society, today, has ruled out the possibility of the existence of the immaterial self and to think, only in terms of our person as a physical entity – mainly focusing on the material, i.e. the body. Humans lavish at the outward and physical health, wellness and appearance of our body’s. While good physical maintenance is necessary to one’s quality of life, as it does influence the inner person’s health and well-being, treating only the outward is actually selling ourselves short. We are spiritual beings who have a body. Treating emotional issues with medicine, while helpful, cannot resolve the issue. It would be like sticking a band aid over our chest to relieve the heart of pain when in reality, it is the emotional state of the soul that is bleeding tears of pain and anguish. Counseling is in order and the only effective means of treating the issue. Medicine is really only treating the soul wounds effect on the body (depression leads to chemical rewiring in the brain or PTSD and nerve damage). When something traumatic happens to the body, say, a traumatic brain injury, this also impacts the soul’s ability to think and remember and relate to the body and the body to respond to the soul (paralysis).
Fortunately, many clinics are realizing this and now use a dual diagnostic approach to therapy in fields like addiction. I am not against medications at all. They are useful in relieving the physical symptoms but are of no use to a successfully complete outcome in long term therapy without mental health therapy, i.e. pastoral care, counseling, and so on.
So, the body and soul are an intricate unity. Much of what we have learned in science has been inaccurate. But, I shall not digress. The study of the soul is fascinating and I encourage everyone to take up this study. However, “The soul is a very complicated thing with an intricate internal structure that we need to understand if we are to appreciate the mind’s role in spiritual transformation.”
Loving God with the Mind by the Spiritual Disciplines
Why do spiritual disciplines matter? Because we are spiritual beings waging war on principalities and powers not of this world. We prepare for battle, and we maintain our agility through the prescribed spiritual disciplines of prayer and Sabbath.
We are dead to sin. Through the new birth we are made alive in Christ. Spiritual disciplines matter because though we are reborn our new spiritual capacities are infantile. They need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The spiritual disciplines are what aid in our maturation as we walk in the newness of life in our Lord. Renewing the mind impacts, and majorly influences other faculties of the soul.
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Catch more from Jason Kline in forthcoming posts.
 J.P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2012), 86.
 Ibid. 80.
 Ibid. 82.
 Ibid. 82.
 Ibid 82.
 Ibid. 84.
 Ibid. 84.
 Ibid. 81.
About the Author:
Jason Kline is a resident chaplain for Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care of Southwest Virginia. Jason graduated with a Master of Divinity from Liberty University. Jason also received his Bachelor of Science in Business and Religion from Liberty University as well as his certification in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Jason is a full member of the International Society of Christian Apologetics. Jason served his country by proudly serving in the United States Air Force. He is currently researching the soul and is interested in how the soul influences the counseling process.
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