Patricia Hofer

Christians not stupid

Some believers today seem to have the impression that using human intelligence to understand what Jesus said is somehow less Christian. Yet it seems to me that nothing Jesus taught was simplistic or obvious. Even his disciples thought at first that he was talking about bread when he told them to “beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod” (NRSV Mark 8:14-19).

When we fully see, however, that Christ’s kingdom is not a physical one, is “not from here” (NRSV John 18:36), we feel free to rejoice in the progress that has lifted mankind from the cave even as we can also say with Jesus “let the dead bury their own dead” (NRSV Matt. 8:22). Let materialism investigate the material world. It can’t interfere or conflict with the Lord’s “living water” that is spirit and eternal life to us.

As CS Lewis wrote: “Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary, He told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves,’ but also ‘as wise as serpents.’ He wants a child’s heart but a grown up’s head.” (Mere Christianity 61).

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