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#8421 - Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:49 PM Intellect & Denomination  

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Hi All,<br><br>I first of all want to put out a disclaimer that this question may not be thought though very well but.....here it goes.<br><br>As I was pondering a discussion we had in my Logic & Reasoning class, this question came to mind: does a Christian's intellectual capacities have any bearing on their choice of denomonation? To try and clarify the question I'll use an example of preference of an individual style of preaching as opposed to a particular denomination. Such as, would a person who is considered highly intellectual prefer a Ravi Zacharias or RC Sproul to say an Adrian Rogers, whose presentation of the gospel is very simplistic, and I don't mean that in a negative sense.<br><br>Any thoughts? Does it matter? Did I just waste five minutes of my life by giving this any consideration?[img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/scratch.gif" alt="scratch" title="scratch[/img]<br>

#8422 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 3:18 AM Re: Intellect & Denomination  

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The answer to your first question is no IMHO<br><br>howard

#8423 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 4:13 AM Re: Intellect & Denomination  
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Not their intellectual capacities, but definitely their intellectual preferences. <br><br>For instance, some may prefer to study the Bible in earnest while others may enjoy more of the emotional aspects. Some may enjoy expositional sermons through a book while others enjoy topical where the subject changes more often. Some likes longer, detailed sermons which gives their minds an exercise where others like more music and liturgy where they can participate more actively.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
#8424 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 7:57 AM Re: Intellect & Denomination  
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thredj,<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"].....does a Christian's intellectual capacities have any bearing on their choice of denomonation?</font><hr></blockquote><p>I think it not only does, but it should. In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." If a denomination is not faithful to the Word of God we should use not only our intellectual capacities but our spiritual discernment and remove ourselves from this unfaithful group.<br><br>You also made reference to R.C.Sproul and Ravi Zacharias as compared to Adrian Rogers. In this comparison I'd say we all have preferences regarding intellect, teaching style, and presentation, but most important is being faithful to the text. It's not whether it's simple or profound but is God glorified and are the people edified. Is Jesus Christ being lifted up? Is the preacher leading us in God-centered worship or man-centered worship? <br><br>When we are in a worship service whether we are led by a simple man or an intellectual theologian its important to remember we worship God in spirit and in truth.<br><br><br>Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#8425 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:27 AM Re: Intellect & Denomination [Re: Wes]  

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Dear Thredj:<br><br>Though this may not be what you are specifically asking, I think it has a bearing on the question, and the basis for it.<br><br>You mentioned the relationship to intellectual capacities and worship/denomination. I couldn't help but be reminded of the experience of one of Christendoms brightest intellectual lights in this regard, the Dr. John Owen. His biographer relates how he had for several years been in an agony over his eternal state, yes, even while functioning in a clerical capacity, if memory serves, as he believed he believed but he had no assurance of that belief and he longed desperately for it. In this condition one Lord's day he and a friend went to hear a rather famous preacher of the day, Calamay, as I recall, hoping to have some light shed on the Word as it applied to Dr. Owens case. When they got there and were seated they realized that not Rev. Calamay but an unknown unheard of preacher was to deliver the message. They nearly got up and left but decided to stay. <br><br>It was during that message, and through that messenger, that the Lord chose to deliver Dr. Owen from his bondage and to reveal with power His Son in him. Needless to say, Dr. Owen, most greatful, sought many times to find out the name of the preacher and to see and thank him, but was never able to do so (at least in this life) but I suspect they both have now long since rejoiced together in the immediate and uninterupted presence of the Lord's Beauty and Holiness.<br><br>Thus ultimately, in my view, it is not so much the intellect, either of the hearer or the messenger, though these are not to be snuffed at, but rather the sovereign and gracious work of the Great Teacher, Applier and Illuminator of Souls which is the most salient issue.<br><br>In Him,<br><br>Gerry

#8426 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:06 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination  
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Good points, Gerry.<br><br>I prefer expository sermons over topical ones, and that was a definite factor in choosing my church and my Sunday School class (called the Expositor's Class for the obvious reason)


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#8427 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:09 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination  
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In my experience, no.<br><br>I consider myself to be highly intellectual, and I prefer a "high" liturgy e.g. lot's of hymns, corporate and responsive readings, etc. Whereas, people in my old church (I will not say they are not intellectual, they're rather average) and they prefer less participation, more sermon.


In the midst of your sadness and woe, when you are tormented and afflicted, have comfort! God's will is done.
#8428 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 6:27 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination [Re: ReformedThinker]  
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But wouldn't a person who prefers more sermon be more of the thinking type?<br><br>Of course, some sadly use the sermon time to put themselves on auto-pilot or write out their list of groceries.<br><br>


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
#8429 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 8:53 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination [Re: MarieP]  
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Not necessarily, although the logic is good. Most of the people in my church (I think) just kind of zone out. But then, they all are pretty old. I don't think I can blame them. (Nathan puts on his flame-retardant suit) OK Pilgrim, howard, and PrestorJohn go ahead and tell me about how old people are still active and such and such. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/nuts.gif" alt="nuts" title="nuts[/img]


In the midst of your sadness and woe, when you are tormented and afflicted, have comfort! God's will is done.
#8430 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:28 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination  

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Gerry,<br><br>Thanks for the example. It made me think back to the account of Spurgeon's conversion. I believe Spurgeon described the preacher on the day of his conversion as an "unlettered" man. But nonetheless the Spirit of God was at work that day. <br><br>I think the conversion of a person in itself doesn't have to be under extraordinary circumstances but afterwards would an intellectual or non-intellectual believer grow in the faith if they were a part of church or under preaching that was opposite to their level of intellect? Would that person feel somewhat detached or possibly unable to comprehend? I think the heart of this question was answered by Wes however. In whose opinion I wholeheartedly agree.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"] In this comparison I'd say we all have preferences regarding intellect, teaching style, and presentation, but most important is being faithful to the text. It's not whether it's simple or profound but is God glorified and are the people edified. Is Jesus Christ being lifted up? Is the preacher leading us in God-centered worship or man-centered worship? <br><br>When we are in a worship service whether we are led by a simple man or an intellectual theologian its important to remember we worship God in spirit and in truth.</font><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Thanks for your respones everyone.<br>

#8431 - Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:44 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination  
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thredj,<br><br>Might I add, that it is very well possible for a preacher to deliver profound sermons in a way that a "non-intellectual" individual is able to comprehend it. I think this is a mark of a Pastor; i.e., making known the mystery of Christ, which is beyond our ability to truly comprehend in such a way that even a child can understand it and so that it makes an impact upon one's life, WITHOUT diminishing the truth (aka: dumbing down). That is why a man who occupies the pulpit MUST be called of God and gifted by the Holy Spirit. Preaching the Word is not only a privilege, demanding serious responsibility, but also a gift. Thomas Perkins, who wrote on preaching, named his book rightly, IMHO, as The Art of Prophesying. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]<br><br>Thus regardless of one's intellectual prowess or education, what should be sought after is a preacher who is first able to expound the Scriptures rightly AND in such a way that ALL his hearers are able to leave the church changed in both knowledge and heart.<blockquote>Colossians 1:28 (KJV) "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:"<br><br>2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ASV) "I charge [thee] in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables. But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry."</blockquote>In His Grace,


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#8432 - Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:02 AM Re: Intellect & Denomination [Re: ReformedThinker]  

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I may be old (43) , but I am certainly no intelect . I was a construction/demolition labourer since the age of 16. <br><br>I am unable to tackle Van Till as yet but then again when I was a baptist, Owen and Calvin did not make easy reading for me . But now they are a lot easier for me (apart from their use of Latin, Greek and Hebrew , of which I know nothing ).<br>This has nothing to do with intelect IMHO , it is The Holy Spirit prompting in the right direction I believe. I have learnt more in the last 2 years as an paedobaptist than I did in 6 years as a baptist which is not a result of my intellect I assure you !<br><br>Do you rember how you felt when you embraced TULIP for the first time as Biblical Truth ?<br><br>I nearly died of shock !<br><br>This also happened when I discovered Infant Baptism too. The Bible becomes bigger and brighter as The Holy Spirit continues to educate me . This is nothing to do with intelect. Tis the work of The Father , Son and Holy Ghost .<br><br>howard

#8433 - Thu Dec 04, 2003 3:48 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination  

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Dear thredj:<br><br>I appreciate your reply and I haven't read the story of Spurgeon's conversion, but would like to. <br><br>I agree that Wes's response is on target and I guess that I would only add that it seems to me that those of us who have a tendency to be more intellectual or live in our minds, need to be reminded more that others that the mind, without the influence of the Spirit, is useless in spiritual things. <br><br>I have noticed that sometimes the most simple of people have great wisdom in spiritual things but they are often overlooked because they don't have the education or verbal ability to articulate their views. I believe such are particularly close to the Lords heart. <br><br>On the other hand, I have also seen simple people glory in their ignorance, if you know what I mean, so the pendelum swings both ways. To me, it seems that we must know ourselves and our own weaknesses and tendencies to err and watch and pray against them.<br><br>I think a really balanced ministry is neither intellectual nor non intellectual per se, but rather strives to present the whole counsel in a way that all can understand it and I think that is basically what Wes was saying.<br><br>In Him,<br><br>Gerry

#8434 - Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:19 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination  
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]I have noticed that sometimes the most simple of people have great wisdom in spiritual things but they are often overlooked because they don't have the education or verbal ability to articulate their views. I believe such are particularly close to the Lords heart. </font><hr></blockquote><p> <br><br>I have known people like those you have described and, at least in my experience, they were all devoted to intercessory prayer. I think this is why they are so close to the Lord and so encouraging to those around them. My grandma was one such saint. Her head would no doubt be spinning if she read some of the doctrinal threads that I find so stimulating, however she gently and lovingly served everyone she came in contact with as if she were serving Christ Himself and never hesitated to share the Gospel or give a word of comfort to those around her.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#8435 - Thu Dec 04, 2003 5:30 PM Re: Intellect & Denomination [Re: gotribe]  

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Dear Kim:<br><br>Thanks for that response and for the words about your grandma. I bet she was a joy to know. Such people seem to know "intuitively" the things that others seem to have to learn by way of the mind. There are many times when I wish I was more like that.<br><br>In Him,<br><br>Gerry

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