Head, Heart and Hands Together: The Biblical Case

“Head, Heart and Hands” Cover

How would you present the biblical case for a faith with well-developed and balanced dimensions of

  • head
  • heart
  • hands?*

The Case in Scripture: Old and New Testament

In Chapter 8, Dennis Hollinger moves from Pandita Ramabai to his biblical case for Head, Heart & Hands. Not surprisingly, he begins with Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Jesus’ reference to ‘the Shema’ (Note: I particularly appreciate Luke 10:25-37), then Hollinger digs into a number of other texts (see below). What 1-2 texts particularly speak to you? I  encourage you to join our family in posting foundational texts in a visible place and return to them regularly (e.g., household mirror, desktop, planner, prayer journal).

Lessons from these passages

  • All of who we are is to be given in love to God.
  • We are to love in our community – our families, our fellow believers and our neighbors (those in need, even on campus).
  • We are to teach these principles and act upon them. Do as Jesus did.

Other biblical principles:

  • The 3 faith dimensions cannot be separated. Actions impact theology and feelings. We do bend our will to justify our actions. Our standards of conduct are shaped in the same way. Our actions – and especially our words – reflect what is in us (Romans 1:20-32).
  • Darkened minds, hardened hearts, and depraved/sinful actions go together (Ephesians 4:17-24).

Drum roll … Summary of Hollinger’s Head-Heart-Hands paradigm

“Our minds cannot be brought into harmony with God’s designs and truth without hearts that are near to God and actions that reflect God’s ways. Our hearts cannot experience the presence and power of the Holy Spirit without knowledge of God to guide us and without actions that reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit. And our actions of both proclamation and presence will wither without a theology to guide them and a heart to drive and sustain them.” (158)

Next in series: Head, Heart and Hands Together: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (Chapter 9).

*Drawn from an adult elective based upon Dennis Hollinger‘s “Head, Heart & Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion and Action” (InterVarsity Press, 2005). Kevin Milligan facilitated the class at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church. Note: See the first post in the series for more on the genesis of this study guide as part of a local Emerging Scholars Network partnership (South Central Scholars Network PA FB and Christian Scholar Series).

Tom came across the ‘Head-Heart-Hands’ graphic at Gateway Christian Church, http://www.gatewayontheweb.org/index.php?p=1_28. As one of his colleagues shared with him via email, “It rocks.” Amen.

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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