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Does God care more about the Intellectual or The Spiritual?

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  • Discussion Does God care more about the Intellectual or The Spiritual?

    Does God care more about changing your intellectual knowledge of him or does he care more about your heart and your spiritual knowledge of him? Having been weaned in a New-Evangelical background with a moderate Charismatic influence, and then joining a Evangelical Conservative denomination in 2004, and since 2007 have been enrolled in a Fundamentalist school and culture/church I have begun to see the real dangers of being so concerned about the intellectual and not caring so much about the heart.

    The Fundamentalists are overtly concerned about academics and the external and debate endlessly over trivial issues (like worship styles, TV, Bible Translations, separation from 100% of evangelicals,etc..).

    On top of my 3,000 + in class reading (500+ pages focused on finding problems with Evangelicals of any stripe) I will be doing this semester, I am CONSTANTLY being recommended more books to buy every single day. I have a very restrictive and very budget focused list of books to buy which has more than 70 books. But I bet if I were to have written every book that a professor, preacher, student or whomever has recommended I would have a book list of more than 300 books to buy!

    The evangelical University I had attended prior for my undergraduate studies was not as focused on the intellectual, but more on the spiritual. Although their preaching was not as good, and their theology on secondary issues often has holes, the people were not as judgmental as a general rule.

    So what do you say does God care more about the spiritual or the intellectual?
    Last edited by poochie; Feb 1st 2009, 02:15 AM. Reason: Grammar

  • #2
    I don't think you can have one without the other. People who are just spiritual and are all about emotions and whatnot have no idea what they are worshipping or even worse they don't care, and the people who are all about the intellect have no idea what an intimate relationship with God is about. That said, from my experience, people neglect doctrine and are more focused on convulsions.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      I believe that they go hand in hand. If you know the spiritual part of it then you yearn to learn more intellectually. And if you care about the translations and such, then you want to find out what each spiritual meaning is.

      I hope that makes sense.
      Matthew 10:39
      He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it.

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      • #4
        Having faith is both intellectual and spiritual, however the intellectual side should be stressed far less than the spiritual side. For example, intellectually, I can discover through His word that Jesus really was the son of God who died on the cross for my sins. However, spiritually I have to choose to take this information and apply it to my life in such a way that 1) brings me to a place of salvation and 2) I grow in my relationship with Him.

        As a ministry student your going to need the background to answer those intellectual questions or to communicate that information is sermons/lessons and so on in order to bring others to salvation and to help create growth in their spiritual life. However, if you don't have a strong relationship with Him you are going to be less effective. In Ephesians 4:11-12 it tells us that teachers, evangelist and pastors are to prepare God's people for works of service. This will require both knowledge and a strong relationship in order to know how the Holy Spirit is guiding you to guide others. Hope that helps.
        Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.
        Psalm 62:5
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        • #5
          I think we try to pigeonhole every one into some sort of group within a group these days.While I agree with fundamental Biblical truths,does this make me a fundamentalist since I also believe in Evangelism and making full proof of thy ministry and doing the work of an Evangelist,Like Philip who according to scripture was an Evangelist. Does this make me an Evangelical? Since I belong to a some what primitive form of Baptist Church,does this make me a primitive Baptist. The answer is no it makes me a Christian, a follower of our Lord and Savior, an heir and a joint heir to the Kingdom of Heaven with Him.And here is the good part if you have been born again,SO ARE YOU!!!! And as far as the Spiritual or Intellectual, there are nine gifts. One of them was to teach and there was one to exhort and the other seven and since I am A Baptist I had better mention the least of all gifts (the Bible says it not me)speaking in tongues or I will be accused of leaving it out on purpose .I do believe in all of them and would not interfere with any of them, if done Biblically. I am like 1bill I am not usually popular in my viewpoints but I will stand on what The Lord Has revealed to me through the reading of His word,by prayer and revelation.The bible says to study to show yourself an approved workman,and it also says that if any man lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God,that giveth all men,and upbraideth not.I hope I didn't get off track and not ruin the thread,but I was trying to show it doesn't have to be one way or the other and actually you should use your Spirtuality along with your intellect come to the Truth in Gods word.There's that word again,Truth,Denny
          I was alive without the Law ,the Commandment came sin revived and I died

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          • #6
            Reason has it's place but it does not trump revelation. What God reveals often befuddles man's intellect. On the other hand when you speak of 'spiritual' you can run off in some weird directions unless it is tempered and tested by God's Word.
            ♪ Each day may Christ become clearer, His Cross dearer, Our Hope nearer. ♫

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            • #7
              I love to learn!

              I was going to say spiritual is more important but I like intellectual too...but you all have reminded me...doctrine? Works? (is it works?)
              Cant have just one.
              Matthew 16:26

              http://letthemplaytheirinstruments.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

                God will reveal to man that which He wants man to know. He is more interested in one being spiritual.

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                • #9
                  I would say that because God loves all all and is no respector of men, it doesn't matter, because he wouldn't care about more then an another group. Theoretically that is.....
                  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
                  Proverbs 3:5

                  My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgements come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.
                  Isaiah 26:9

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                  • #10
                    As one who believes in argument over experience and the sound mind over the emotional heart, it pains me to post the following, but....

                    The mentally challenged who are saved, was it intellect that brought them to God or spirituality?

                    God choose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise.

                    God cares NOTHING for the intellect. Our greatest thoughts are not His thoughts.

                    He would rather see a non-intellectual stand by faith than an intellectual reason his way into believing, who can then reason his way out.

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                    • #11
                      I have known men and women who could not read above a third grade level who had a deeper understanding of theology than men who have trained for years.

                      It's a balance, in my opinion, but I think it starts with a sincere heart and a desire to become closer to the Lord. He will open the mind to knowledge. You can be the most clever person on the planet but if your eyes have not been opened, you will not see.

                      V
                      I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
                      - Mahatma Gandhi



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by poochie View Post
                        Does God care more about changing your intellectual knowledge of him or does he care more about your heart and your spiritual knowledge of him? Having been weaned in a New-Evangelical background with a moderate Charismatic influence, and then joining a Evangelical Conservative denomination in 2004, and since 2007 have been enrolled in a Fundamentalist school and culture/church I have begun to see the real dangers of being so concerned about the intellectual and not caring so much about the heart.

                        The Fundamentalists are overtly concerned about academics and the external and debate endlessly over trivial issues (like worship styles, TV, Bible Translations, separation from 100% of evangelicals,etc..).

                        On top of my 3,000 + in class reading (500+ pages focused on finding problems with Evangelicals of any stripe) I will be doing this semester, I am CONSTANTLY being recommended more books to buy every single day. I have a very restrictive and very budget focused list of books to buy which has more than 70 books. But I bet if I were to have written every book that a professor, preacher, student or whomever has recommended I would have a book list of more than 300 books to buy!

                        The evangelical University I had attended prior for my undergraduate studies was not as focused on the intellectual, but more on the spiritual. Although their preaching was not as good, and their theology on secondary issues often has holes, the people were not as judgmental as a general rule.

                        So what do you say does God care more about the spiritual or the intellectual?
                        In terms of salvation, I believe God is looking at the heart, rather than the head. However, we must remember that our faith has content, filled with axioms and propositional truth. And so we must challenge ourselves to gain in knowledge as we grow in Christ. One verse that constantly comes to my mind is found in Paul's letter to the Philippians.

                        And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

                        Paul seems to associate an increase in our love for one another with our increase in knowledge and discernment. I assume that the one does not necessarily cause the other, but that his prayer for them is that God will make it so in their case. He expects and encourages the Philippians (and us too) to increase in knowledge and discernment so that we may approve the things that are excellent, while at the same time his wish is that our love may abound, having been filled with the fruit of righteousness.

                        Elsewhere he says that knowledge puffs up, but the antidote to knowledge isn't ignorance, but the fruits of the Spirit especially love. We are to speak the truth in love, making our case with "gentile, sweet reasoning". (I stand condemned of not doing this.) And we are not to condemn those, or hold those in contempt with which we disagree.

                        Fundamentalists started out with worthy and noble goals, but their separatist ways degenerated into a radical form of Phariseeism, which tended to "judge themselves by themselves" rather than allowing the Bible they so cherished to stand as a critique of their inherent self righteousness.

                        What continues to amaze me is how the Fundamentalists continue to measure their holiness in terms of the "easy" stuff: not smoking, not going to movies, not playing cards, not dressing up, etc. It's too bad that one of the five fundamentals wasn't "keep and maintain an accurate, realistic self-assessment."

                        Jesus reminds us that the two greatest commandments are "love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself." In essence, these two commandments challenge us to get the proper perspective about God and our neighbor in terms of how they relate to us. Many of us err on the side of seeing God as being less than he really is, and ourselves as being more than our neighbor.

                        In reality, for instance, if we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must realize that my neighbor is no more and no less worthy of God's love than I am. I am no more or no less guilty than he. I am no more and no less a sinner than he. And if I am to love my neighbor as I would love myself, I must certainly treat my neighbor with mutual respect, honor, and dignity as a child made in the image of God and a child Jesus died for.

                        Fundamentalists have tended to set themselves apart from others and see themselves as being above the rest of us, which makes it quite a struggle for them to love me as they would love themselves, to treat me with the same respect and honor they grant each other, and to interact with me without contempt.

                        Finally, Fundamentalists have tended to be anti-intellectual because they blame colleges like Princeton and Harvard for abandoning their original mission to educate men and women so that they might become better people, changing the curriculum to suit the needs of commerce and industry. They saw the intellectuals of their day engaging in textual criticism, which lead many to doubt the veracity of the Bible. They saw the elitist intellectuals doubt the supernatural aspects of the Bible as they began to reinterpret Jesus in terms of his humanitarian efforts. They saw the intellectuals of their day challenge the diety of Christ and the literal and supernatural aspects of the flood, the Exodus, and especially God's creation of the world. And their ultimate fear came when Christians began to see their children lose their faith after graduating from the Universities of the United States and Europe. I believe these facts are the basis of the Fundamentalist's anti-intellectualism. Fundamentalists were unprepared to defend the faith against the tide of unbelief that came over the world at the begining of the 20th century.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by poochie View Post
                          Does God care more about changing your intellectual knowledge of him or does he care more about your heart and your spiritual knowledge of him? Having been weaned in a New-Evangelical background with a moderate Charismatic influence, and then joining a Evangelical Conservative denomination in 2004, and since 2007 have been enrolled in a Fundamentalist school and culture/church I have begun to see the real dangers of being so concerned about the intellectual and not caring so much about the heart.

                          The Fundamentalists are overtly concerned about academics and the external and debate endlessly over trivial issues (like worship styles, TV, Bible Translations, separation from 100% of evangelicals,etc..).

                          On top of my 3,000 + in class reading (500+ pages focused on finding problems with Evangelicals of any stripe) I will be doing this semester, I am CONSTANTLY being recommended more books to buy every single day. I have a very restrictive and very budget focused list of books to buy which has more than 70 books. But I bet if I were to have written every book that a professor, preacher, student or whomever has recommended I would have a book list of more than 300 books to buy!

                          The evangelical University I had attended prior for my undergraduate studies was not as focused on the intellectual, but more on the spiritual. Although their preaching was not as good, and their theology on secondary issues often has holes, the people were not as judgmental as a general rule.

                          So what do you say does God care more about the spiritual or the intellectual?
                          Isaiah 1:18
                          Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

                          Are the two really seperate? I don't think so. I think God's spirit consists of intellectual reasoning, I mean..the intellect in itself was created by God.

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                          • #14
                            He who has the Spirit has life.

                            2Co 3:4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
                            2Co 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
                            2Co 3:6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

                            The letter is profitable for:
                            2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
                            2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

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                            • #15
                              Every aspect of our humanity is a gift from God, and created by God. I don't believe that one trumps the other.

                              One might have very little intellectual ability, and quite frankly, that doesn't matter to God. That person can likely know God better than one with huge intellect.

                              But having a great intellect also doesn't matter to God.

                              As someone else said in this thread, revelation trumps intellect. We could never come to a knowledge of who God is from just trying to reason it out. To be sure, Paul tells us that the fact of His existence is made evident in creation; that God's works speak for Him and that we are held accountable if we reject that knowledge of Him. But knowing of His existence is not the same as knowing Him.

                              But I believe that it boils down to whether or not we'll offer up to God what He has given us. If he's given a person little intellect but great faith, then that person ought to surrender to God whatever intellect and faith that He has given. If a person has been blessed with great intellect, then that person ought to surrender to God His intellect and let God use it His own way.

                              One is not better than the other. It's just a matter of what we're willing to put into God's hands.

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