- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 12 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: christianaudio.com
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 31 Oct. 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00629V17E
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Thinking. Loving. Doing.: A Call to Glorify God with Heart and Mind Audio Download – Unabridged
Top Customer Reviews
Passion and action are well combined here, insight, challenge, wisdom and live flow here. There was additional punch in the essay call to not remain as children in the faith. The closing prayers to each essay grounded the grand concepts in the deep rootedness of God-centred loving! Engaged minds and warned hearts: Fresh and very real. An insightful and excellently edited volume, thoroughly recommended.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Chapter 1: The Battle for Your Mind- Rick Warren
Chapter 2: The Way the World Thinks- R. Albert Mohler Jr.
Chapter 3: Thinking Deeply in the Ocean of Revelation- R. C. Sproul
Chapter 4: Thinking for the Sake of Global Faithfulness- Thabiti Anyabwile
Chapter 5: Think Hard, Stay Humble- Francis Chan
Conclusion: Thinking for the Sake of Joy- John Piper
Q&A with the contributors
As you can see above, this book is a compilation. Some chapters are stronger than others, and some chapters will "connect" more with the readers than others. I enjoyed this book, as it challenged the way I think and explained how my thought life affects the way I love and express that love to others.
In Chapter 1, Rick Warren starts the book off strong by emphasizing the importance of thought in the Christian life. He points out that the heart is deceitful, our thinking is darkened, and we must take every thought captive and hold it up to the light of the Word. Since "wise men store up knowledge" (Pr 10:14), Warren lays out and explains the five levels of learning: knowledge, wisdom, conviction, character, and skill. He ends with a challenge to test every thought, hold onto salvation and God's promises, nourish a godly mind, and continue to learn.
In Chapters 2 and 3, Mohler and Sproul compare and contrast Christian thinking with Western worldviews of thought and belief. I get the feeling these chapters were meant to be apologetic. While they are too short and simplistic and reductionist to provide a proper apologetic to those who are looking for answers, I do think that it offers a decent cursory overview for those in the church wondering how their beliefs differ from those outside the church. It's a starting point.
In Chapter 4, Thabiti Anyabwile addresses how Christians should think about Islam and how Christians should approach Muslims. This chapter was phenomenal. As a former Muslim, Thabiti Anyabwile is able to explain Islam and Sharia to a church culture that is, regrettably, horribly (and often prejudicially) ignorant of our Muslim friends and neighbors. He speaks of "good" and "bad" kinds of pluralism and how we as Christians can openly and lovingly serve, minister to, and witness to our Muslim friends.
While the modern Reformed evangelical church values intellectualism and thought (and while much of this book is on the subject of thought), Francis Chan in Chapter 5 warns against the "peril of pride." Where individuals are constantly thinking and learning and growing in theology, Chan challenges us to ask the question, "Do I genuinely love?" Knowledge alone is insufficient, he says, but we can and should love others and live humbly as a result of that knowledge.
Lastly, John Piper concludes and summarizes the goals of the book: that readers become knowledgeable, mature, humble, and loving. He brings us back to the cross and joy in the cross and treasuring Christ: for whether in thinking, loving, or doing, everything in the Christian life stems from and goes toward the cross.
Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my review, but the thoughts and impressions expressed herein are my own.
The Introduction is written by David Mathis (an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis). He makes a helpful distinction between churches that focus on being pure and those that focus on unity and encourages those who lean one way or the other to learn from the other side. He then proceeds to use Dr. John Frames helpful distinctions of tri-perspectivalism, whereby some churches emphasis The Kingly role, some the Priestly role, and others the Prophetic role of Christ. He then sets up the following chapters in the book and shows how each contributes to bring balance to how we can love Christ with our minds, hearts, and hands.
I personally really enjoyed this chapter as it caused me to reflect on my own strengths and weaknesses in my personal and corporate involvement in the body of Christ and what I have to offer others and what I can learn from others in becoming more Christ-like in balancing the tri-perspectivalism as described in the chapter via John Frames helpful schema.
Chapter Two is entitled "The Battle for Your Mind" by Rick Warren (everyone knows who he is - if you are on planet Earth). He does a topical study from the Scriptures on the pitfalls we wrestle with in the battle between our ears, and then proceeds to give four principles on thinking; five levels of learning; and five things to remember when we are teaching others.
As usual, Warren is very practical, and gives some good acronyms whereby one can remember easily his various points. What I liked about this chapter is that it was very thorough and broad and it is a chapter I will go back to again and again in my teaching others, and being reminded myself how to win the battle for the mind utilizing distinct principles in taking every thought captive for Christ.
Chapter Three is the most intellectually demanding chapter written by Albert Mohler - the President of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. He gives a very thought provoking analysis of our present state of thinking in light of Romans 1:18-32 and postmodernism. He gives 14 insightful noetic effects on the mind due to the fall; five precepts of the modern mind, 12 features of the natural mind, and three practical ways to combat the blind spots that we all have due to the fall.
Dr. Mohler has an amazing mind and what this chapter did for me primarily is to help me think more theologically about how thinking must be reformed and renewed by the Scriptures and the amazing effects of the fall upon our minds. It really motivated me to study the Scriptures and Culture more thouroughly then I typically do, so that I give more thought to how to declare the gospel the "natural" mind, and well as to the "spiritual" mind of those I seek to reach and grow in the gospel.
My favorite modern theologian - Dr. RC Sproul - founder of Ligonier Ministries writes about how Paul addresses the secular mind from Acts 17 and what we can learn from what he did, in our own approach to skeptics today.
Dr. Sproul makes the case for how we can never find "an explanation for being, for life, or for motion if we try to find it outside the being and character of God." I was encouraged by this reminder of how amazing it is to have the perspective of God in my worldview, when so many have suppressed this, and are thus in great need of modern "Paul's" to address the issues of the day from a Theo and Christo-centric perspective.
In Chapter Four Thabiti Anyabwile (Pastor in the Cayman Islands) addresses how we may encounter Islam by using the mind of Christ as opposed to being driven by fear where he rightly says, "where fear takes control, thinking does not."
Pastor Anyabwile (a former Muslim who converted to Christianity as a young adult) does a fantastic job of giving an overview of pluralism, Islam, and how we should respond to Muslims. His chapter helped me to fear Islam less, and gave me a bigger heart to share the good news with the many Muslims who live in my community.
In Chapter Five, Francis Chan (Pastor and Writer in San Francisco) addresses how to think hard, combat pride and stay humble based on an exposition of 1 Corinthians 8. In this chapter Chan really does a great job showing how we can love more like Jesus by thinking more like him.
The Concluding chapter is by John Piper (Preaching Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church) and addresses how love flows out of us when we love God with all of our minds. He gives 8 points that he hopes this book will prevent in Christians, and then what he hopes that this book will awaken and increase: `Thinking for the sake of loving."
I really enjoyed this book because it was deep theologically, and gave helpful applications from the Scriptures in how to love God and others with our minds, emotions, and actions. I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars because it's a book I will come to again and again for my own personal walk with the Lord, and because it will help me to be more balanced in my own teaching, and coaching ministries.
I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to give a favorable review.
Some of the essays (R.C. Sproul's in particular) were incredibly insightful and really helped me look at things in a different way. I agree with the whole point of the book being that as Christians we need to be intellectually engaging our faith, not just believing something or someone simply b/c they claim their ideas are Biblical. There was one essay that really didn't fit at all. Thabiti Anyabwile's piece on Islam was actually offensive. Not b/c it was so convicting that I felt moved, but b/c it assumes I'm scared of Muslims and the religion of Islam. He makes a good point (and what I guess was his main idea, although it was hard to tell b/c of the way it is written) is simply that yes, all people are created equal, but not all ideas are-IE we shouldn't be assuming that all religions have the same goals as Christianity. It's a bit convoluted and I feel like saying that people are scared of Muslims and Islam assumes a bigotry that alienates those of us who have never felt that way. Bottom line: Just skip this chapter, unless you really are a bigot, then you probably would learn something about tolerance. (I'm sure this paragraph will illicit some negative feedback, but it's my opinion, and I encourage you-as is the message of the book-read it and intellectually form your own opinion).
Overall, it has some great insight and I LOVE the message that God has called us all to think about faith not just with our emotions, but intellectually. As a people, Christians should be the ones who know about our God and our Bible and our Faith and we should be demonstrating that knowledge not just by how we speak, but how we live!
Matthew 22:37 states that the Great Commandment is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Christians, and even non-Christians today, have lost the ability to truly unleash their mind. Colleges try to teach people how to have an open mind but in essence they want their students to believe what they believe, feel what they feel, etc. If they teach that there are no absolutes, they want their students to absolutely believe it. We want young people to use their minds but we do not teach them how to. In the church, we have done even a greater disservice in this area. David Mathis makes the point that "Healthy Christianity clearly appreciates the life of the mind." (p. 15)
True Christianity encompasses all of the emotions. Thinking. Loving. Doing. Is a book that truly challenges how we use our mind. It challenges us to even question whether or not we are even using our mind. As I sometimes do in my reviews, here is what the back of the book has to say:
"Here is a call to holistic Christianity. A challenge to be thinkers, engaged and serious about knowing God. And to be feelers, pulsing with passion for Jesus and His gospel. And to be doers, endeavoring great acts of love for others. Our Savior himself shows us that holistic Christianity is comprised of mind, heart and hands. And he shows us that the Christian life is multidimensional - irreducibly and inseparably thinking, loving and doing."
I use the back many times because the way they word the description or purpose of the book is the best way to put it. This book is all about challenging Christians to be fully devoted followers of Christ and to do that, we must be engaged in all of our emotions. That is how Jesus set the example, He loved, He felt and He did so why should we be expected to do any less as His followers. With the great commandment being to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, why do we think that is an option? The best way to live the Christian life, and the only way to live the Christian life, is with all of our being; anything less than that subconsciously says that we do not have to obey the greatest commandment.
This book began as actual messages spoken at the Desiring God Conference from 2010 and has contributions from Rick Warren, Francis Chan, R.C. Sproul, R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Thabiti Anyabwile. Each of the contributors adds their own unique ability to communicate to the book which makes this book a great read and challenge for anyone desiring to truly walk with the Lord.
Rick Warren begins the book with speaking of the battle of the mind. We face a war for our minds each and every day. There is so much trying to grab our attention and get us thinking about it that for us to truly begin thinking in a Christian way, it will take effort on our part. Albert Mohler follows with speaking on the way the world thinks and how the natural mind is at work within all of us because of the fall of man. R.C. Sproul then moves us on to thinking about the Bible because it is what actually gives answers to life's biggest questions. Thabiti Anyabwile speaks on Islam and Muslims and how our thinking has affected our reaction or thoughts towards these people. Francis Chan then gives a great challenge to think about whether or not we truly love God and love others. John Piper concludes the book with a challenge on how thinking is what will actually help lead us more fully into experiencing true and lasting joy.
Over all, this book is a great read for any Christian who wants to be challenged. And yet what this book will lead you to is actually begin thinking, and even thinking about thinking. That is what it did to me. After reading many portions of this book, I would find myself sitting and actually just thinking. Our minds are powerful things and as one famous quote states, a "horrible thing to waste." For the Christian, this is extremely important because the greatest commandment says we are to love with ALL. If we are to love with ALL our mind, it must cause us to think and to think deeply. Not to become more knowledgeable and prideful because of our knowledge, but to think because thinking leads to loving which leads to doing; and that is what the Christian life is all about. So go ahead and pick this book up and read it. You will find yourself challenged and glad that you did pick it up.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review.