Ideas have consequences. The Holocaust began as an idea, argues David Horner*. Thinking well and loving God with our minds is thus an essential calling for Christians. Horner dedicates Mind Your Faith: A Student’s Guide to Thinking & Living Well to helping university students, especially undergraduate first years, grasp what it takes to think and live well in their university years and beyond.
Horner begins with our minds. He talks about what we mean when we talk about something being true, how to think about the distinction between belief and knowledge (often deprecating of belief), finding common ground with those we disagree with and then thinking logically and worldviewishly as we seek to think critically about the ideas we encounter.
He goes on to talk about faith and the relationship of faith and reason and that these can be friends and not enemies — that all reason entails faith and the best faith is reasonable faith. Horner’s chapter on doubts and objections is especially helpful in recognizing that doubt can be a healthy part of believing, particularly as we work through doubts in community and doubt our doubts as well as our beliefs.
Finally, he concludes with the matter of character. The good life is not just avoiding the wrong, but actually having an alternative vision of a life well-lived that is more compelling. His last chapter reflects on the moral community of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon which rescued over 6,000 Jewish refugees from the Holocaust — simply because this tightly knit religious community of the Huguenots was “practiced as a community” in doing the right thing.
This is a great book to give a believing student headed to college. It is also a wonderful resource for a Christian at any age who is beginning to realize that ideas have consequences and is looking for a road map to begin thinking with the mind of Christ.
*David Horner (D.Phil., University of Oxford) is professor of philosophy and biblical studies at Biola University in California. He also serves as Research Scholar for Centers for Christian Study, International, an effort to develop intellectual Christian communities within secular university contexts, and as president of The Illuminatio Project, whose aim is to bring the light of a classical biblical vision of goodness, truth and beauty into the thinking of the church and culture through strategic research and communication. Note: bio from http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/author.pl/author_id=6439. Accessed 10/14/2013, 6:55 pm.
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Bob Trube is Associate Director of Faculty Ministry and Director of the Emerging Scholars Network. He blogs on books regularly at bobonbooks.com. He resides in Columbus, Ohio, with Marilyn and enjoys reading, gardening, choral singing, and plein air painting.