I’m taking a class in seminary on Christian Apologetics. And I am reading about all these intelligent, eloquent, elaborate minds who use their reasoning as giftings to honor and worship God, and make Him known to their communities. I don’t get what they are saying half the time! I admire their capabilities to rationalize and deduct logic arguments in the field of Christianity. “God is everywhere rational; God is everywhere in operation. This universe he made is a rational universe; it is orderly and exhibits laws…” says Anselm, an apologist in the Middle Ages. Anselm was not afraid to think rationally about Christianity because he knew it would stand the test of reason. He saw a rational God of order and he worshipped Him. His abilities to see God as a rational Creator were a gift to him—and he used them well.
I don’t think God gave me quite similar abilities, and this class, in particular, enforces my realization. I notice the majestic joy Anselm felt as he worshipped God through his sophisticated and eloquent reason, but I do not feel the same fire in my heart to use mine (mostly because my reason is not nearly as sophisticated and brilliant as his). Unlike Anselm, philosophy and logic do not incite me in my practical theology. I cannot carry ontological arguments, nor do I feel a passionate call to write books on apologetics. (That may change, for all I know!).
But, through this class, I’m being built up in my own faith as I get a small (reasonable) taste of Anselm’s joyful dedication of worshiping God through his giftings in philosophical and theological reasoning. I am deeply moved at his love for God through reason. Anselm was faithful with the mind God blessed him with. And I am being taught, again and again, to be faithful with mine, too–be it studying God’s Word as I mother, writing blogposts for Jesus in between laundry loads, taking seminary courses while the children are in school, or sharing Jesus with the students in plain English as my second language. The purpose in studying these great minds in apologetics is not to expose and shame the simpler ones like mine. The purpose in being exposed to such faithful minds is to encourage the use of our own for loving God and sharing Him more in our own community.
Anselm and many like him reveal a love of God and the gospel through their minds and reasons. They engaged their worlds through reasoning and thought-provoking dialogues and writings. The greatest measure of believers’ minds is not their intellectual depths, but their faithful love of Christ. Oh, the splendor of the gospel in the minds and reasoning of believers throughout the world and ages! Anselm helps me ask myself more, Anca, how can you grow in loving your Savior faithfully with your mind and thinking, today?