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Life of the Mind, The: A Christian Perspective (RenewedMinds) [Paperback]

By Clifford Williams (Author)
Our Price $ 10.20  
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Item Number 145058  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2002
Publisher   Baker Academic
ISBN  080102336X  
EAN  9780801023361  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Examines the importance of intellectual activity, answering common objections and demonstrating its value to both the individual and the church.

Publishers Description
What purpose do purely intellectual pursuits have in the lives of Christians? Why should Christians study subjects that have little bearing on their future careers and ministry? In a style reminiscent of the work of Arthur Holmes and Harry Blamires, veteran professor of philosophy Clifford Williams addresses these issues and more in this succinct and accessible examination of the life of the mind.
Christians cultivating the life of the mind actively pursue situations and discussions that require experimentation, reflection, and perseverance. They are interested in the acquisition of knowledge that is both unrelated and directly related to their faith. Williams answers common Christian objections to such activities, describes the virtues of the person who engages in the life of the mind, and asserts that the life of the mind is justifiably a Christian calling.
"The Life of the Mind" is directed toward college students contemplating the importance of college and intellectual activity in general, but it will be enjoyed by all committed to developing a Christian mind.

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More About Clifford Williams

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Clifford Williams (Ph.D., Indiana University) teaches philosophy at Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois. His works include Singleness of Heart: Restoring the Divided Soul, With All That We Have--Why Aren't We Satisfied? and On Love and Friendship: Philosophical Readings.

Clifford Williams currently resides in Deerfield, in the state of Illinois. Clifford Williams was born in 1943.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Intellectual Pursuits  Dec 7, 2006
There has always been a difference among Christians who believe the intelletual life to be an aid to the faith and those who hold it to be a hindrance. The latter point to pagan intellectuals in the past and secular ones today and compare them unfavorably to those with a childlike faith who walk with the Lord. On the other hand, those Christians who favor the life of the mind will point out that intellectual curiousity need not contradict a childlike faith. They can list any number of great minds in Church history and note how God has used men like St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others to our current day in witnessing to the truth of the Christian faith through the disciplined use of the mind. The intellect, like any tool, is to be judged by how it is used for God's service.

In The Life of the Mind, Clifford Williams considers the compatibility of a strong Christian faith with a powerful intellectual curiosity and makes the case for a positive outcome. Those hoping for a passioned vindication might, however, be disappointed as Williams makes a calm and thoroughly reasoned examination and is not dismissive of the concerns of those who might approach academic considerations with trepidation. He understands that Christians who take up intellectual pursuits might fall into arrogance but this no more such pursuits a vice than those with the gift of natural beauty and are prideful make beauty itself an evil.

Williams effectively makes the case that a properly guided intellectual curiosity is a means to see the work of God in His creation and is a good in itself. While not everyone might not be inclined toward intellectual endeavors as a high priority (just as not everyone may be naturally inclined towards art or music), the complete neglect of the life of the mind (as in other areas) impoverishes one's life and closes oneself off to appreciating a facet of God's working in our lives. As a reasoned apologia for the role of intellectual pursuits in the life of the Christian, The Life of the Mind, Williams calmly and clearly answers the objections of well-meaning but short-sighted brethren.
Enhancing Thinking for Mindful Christians  Jul 7, 2005

Thinking and faith:
De Bono, Rhodes scholar, founder of the International Creative Forum, originator of the concept of "lateral thinking," was my logical choice for books about thinking. Since I was brought up in Alexandria where salvation is by Grace through knowledge, thinking was never stood in the way of faith. Some of the greatest Church thinkers; Origen, Athanasius, and Cyril utilized their faculty in defending Orthodoxy, after developing Saccha's Christianity compatable Neo-Platonism.

Renewing the Mind:
Jim Sire describes Intellectual Life As a Christian Calling, while John Cobb, Jr. challenging all Christians to think, in obedience of Christ. And while Cobb asks Christians to reclaim their gift of thinking, and redeem thinking about God from theologians, Williams defines the life of the mind as a Christian perspective.
In a A Review of The Life of the Mind, Learning to Think Like a Christian is the reviewer T. Moore's qualifying subtitle, he underlines with John Stott that, 'Your Mind Matters', reminds us that, 'disciplined development of the mind must be an important part of every Christian's spiritual life.'

Thinking, life of the Mind:
Dr. Clifford Williams, a veteran professor of philosophy, at Trinity College offers an examination of the life of the mind, as a Christian perspective, in seven chapters that constitute his brief, but informing book. Christians who develop their mind's life observe, think, and engage in dialogue. They are interested in the exploration of mundane knowledge (science and philosophy) and spiritual knowledge that enhances their faith.
Williams believes that people of faith has to be thinkers, and sets in a concise and systematic way the case for his theme. While it is normal to think, developing and utilizing our mental faculties, consistently and coherency, is a matter of discipline, very much like the desert fathers toil with the Noia (thought). While Williams argues that thinking is sought for its own merits, he argues that our minds will try their ways around issues until they can achieve solutions, and acquiring good thinking habits will motivate thinking processes and make them enjoyable. He cites the Scriptures to support his argument, of not wasting what the Lord intended in His intelligent design. He claims that knowledge on its own merits is a way of loving God (John 17:3). The more earnestly we know Him, the deeper will be our love for Him, since, in the biblical sense knowledge is love. Hosea gives the consequences of rejecting thinking, and lack of knowledge;
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me. (Hos 4:6)

Enhancing Thinking:
It is evident that the author uses a mind technique, of enhancing focused reading and leaves memorable headings:
Making Beliefs coherent, Discovering Meaning, Sensing the Divine,
Loving God with our Minds, Finding Reasons for Believing, Discovering the need for Faith, Taming the Fat relentless Ego, The Incompatibility of Faith & Inquisitiveness/ Imaginativeness, The Incompatibility of Thought and Devotion, The marginalization of Christianity, The Crowd and the Community, The Hermit and the Explorer.
For the Thinking Christian  Feb 22, 2002
Can a Christian rationalize faith? Can one come to terms with the Lord and Savior with 99.9% confirmation and 0.1% doubt, or know Jesus through intellectual thought? Or must it ALL be done by faith? Dr. Williams, my current professor of Philosophy... made every student in my class purchase a 25-30 page booklet called "Why Think?: Christian Perspectives on the Life of the Mind" which is what he sent into the publishing company that ended up publishing it (he wrote a bit more to it) and now it is this book! I read it for class, and came to terms with rationalization and where it is supposed to fit with the Christian. Can Christians be thinkers? I don't see why not, in fact I rebuke those in the name of the Lord who don't want to think. This book turns blind faith into complete sight, almost as if Jesus Himself has healed our blindness and given reason as to why we can believe: knowledge. It is a gift from God and besides showing this in his lectures..., he shows it in this book.

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