James White – The Christian Mind (iDisciple conference WCAUK)

James Emery White – The Christian Mind

What is the modern (non Christian) mind?


Pluralism. God’s like a mountain, all the religions are paths up the same mountain, and the names of God are all the same summit. Go to the multiplex, or home to Netflix, all those choices. This is NEW! Peter Berger – sociologist said Religion used to provide a sacred canopy over all of culture. Now that’s replaced by millions of umbrellas to stand under.

With the increase of options comes lots of choices of truths, all equally valid.

But if everything is true – nothing is true.

‘It’s raining.’ Either it is or isn’t. There’s a match with reality.

These days comparative religion teaches what is held in common with all religions. But you can’t be a Buddhist Christian. Ask the Dalai Lama! Their truth claims are opposite. It’s two different mountains. Same with Islam etc.

So, either you say ; someone’s right

or someone’s wrong

But you can’t say they are ALL right. That’s intellectually dishonest.


Facts don’t matter. How you feel matters. You can create truth for yourself, despite the facts. If I can convince a majority of others that’s true, it is. (Follow link for more)


We create our own reality, and that becomes fact for us all. There is no truth outside of what the majority want it to be. If we say 2 + 2 = 5 for us, then it does.(Follow link for more/source)


Nobody is a sinner. nobody sins. Sociology and psychology has pushed sin out. We are just mistakers. Or in fact there’s something good about why we did it. ‘I’m sorry you got offended…’ Nothing is wrong, wicked or evil – so..


Anything goes. If it makes you happy, morality is a personal choice and opinion. If you’re not hurting anyone – except judgmental people of course. They are the only wrong ones. Look at Christian Smith’s work on this.

Why contrast this mind with the Christian mind?

Well this is a little disingenious. The fact is – the modern mind has BECOME the Christian mind! We are UNDISCIPLED here!

When Jesus restated the Shema (when quoting it verbatim as a Rabbi was essential) he ADDED in loving God ‘with your MIND…’

Paul was clear how change happens. Romans 12. RENEW the mind. Continually don’t let the world adjust you so much you fit into it without thinking. We are mirroring it, not challenging. This is diabolical.

Christians have to retain a prophetic voice. that has to come from a prophetic MIND.

Prov 23:7 As a man thinks in his heart – so is he.

Harry Blamires, ‘There is no longer a Christian mind.’

We have to start thinking about the big issues of our day in the light of our faith. Not having a compartmentalised mind. Where over here you have your work life, here’s your daily reading, here’s a tweet, here’s a show… and your thinking about one doesn’t link to the other things.

So you can be a Christian, but not let that reflect that in how you think about science. About films you see, social media. Do you integrate these things in terms of a Christian worldview?

Eg., where did we come from?

There are actually very few answers.

By chance (Naturalism)

We don’t exist (Hindu)

We were created

If we believe the latter, then there is meaning, and someone outside of us to whom we are accountable and from whom we derive value. Look at how MLK challenged unjust laws in his letter from a Birmingham Jail. It was based on the value of humanity based on a law above human laws.

John Stott said our battle is ‘a battle of ideas.’

We take captive every THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ.

OR we think like everyone else.

Thomas Cahill – ‘How the Irish saved civilisation.’ As the Roman empire fell to barbarism, the Irish took up the Labour of copying western literature. This was then taken back to Europe and they saved it! Without this Christian mind, they would also have lost the ability to think. By the way, Islam would have taken over Europe then too.

There are few Christian warriors of the mind these days. Most retreat into personal piety or good works. We follow someone who died at 33. Don’t live a life that doesn’t offend people, if we don’t live as if we don’t care if we’ll die, we will be impotent.