By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012
The mind, like the body, can also run wild. It must be properly disciplined and trained. The proper exercise of the mind will save us from mindless worship that may entertain but does not edify [instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually]. Paul pointed to the need to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5) because the mind, independent of God, is capable of all kinds of sinful thoughts and attitudes.
We are human just like Paul, with various needs to be met legitimately by the grace of God, and which enabled us to live a life pleasing to God. Intellectual needs of the mind is one of them. We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We should not allowed our worship services to descend to nothing more than delirious mindless practices, mistaking our ecstasy for true devotion to Christ.
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Discuss Os Guiness' idea of "fit bodies, fat minds" in contemporary society (refer to page 170). Why is developing a Christian mind important? What can the church do to ensure that Christians are not strangers to the wonderful treasure trove of good Christian literature?
Discuss Os Guiness' idea of "fit bodies, fat minds" in contemporary society (refer to page 170).
Preliminary Comments 
Os Guinness had this book in the works for a number of years. "Fit Bodies, Fat Minds" advocated that the lack of careful thinking among evangelicals both harms our witness to the world and is disobedience to God.
Os Guinness traces the retreat of the evangelical mind and the dumbing down of evangelicalism through popular culture. But this book goes beyond mere analysis. It is a strong call for reformation of yet another place where evangelicalism in not evangelical enough.
Paperback, 160 pages, by Os Guinness, Published on 1st August 1994 by Baker Books
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"Evangelical anti-intellectualism is both a scandal and a sin. It is a scandal in the sense of being an offense and a stumbling block that needlessly hinders serious people from considering the Christian faith and coming to Christ. It is a sin because it is a refusal, contrary to the first of Jesus' two great commandments, to love the Lord our God with our minds" (Fit Bodies, Fat Minds - pp, pages 10-11).
Texts posted by Dan Glover on 26 October 2010, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/97924.Fit_Bodies_Fat_Minds
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Part Two: An Idiot Culture 
The second section covers influences from modern culture which is relevant to our discussion of Os Guiness' idea of "fit bodies, fat minds" in contemporary society. This section was named "A Junkie Spirit" in 1986. Its new title, "Fit Bodies, Fat Minds", is taken from a 1992 New Republic essay by journalist Carl Bernstein.
Guinness discusses eight trends in modern culture that contribute to a "dumbing-down" not only of society but of the Christians who live in it. Several chapters describes how our culture has degraded from one in which thinking and carefully considered words mattered, to one dominated by images and feelings. The modern culture are manipulated by advertising, entertainment, and the media. Sensationalism rather than truth, captivates in every day live, especially in fashion and politics. In politics, provocative mass hysteresis overcome sensible truth which are destructive to righteous justice. People are brought down by the sheer will of mobs and not by the righteous sentencing of the court. In mass hysteresis, people are no longer control by correct reasoning of the mind but by wrongful devilish instinct.
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The satanic style has triumphed over true substance in modern culture. Guinness notes that this type of modernism behaviour that elevated human crooked reason above all else, was itself anti-Christian. Not only the decline of modernism but post-modernism is also unacceptable from a Christian viewpoint, because of its denial to the Biblical truth. Generation differences, cyberspace dangers and virtual reality are opposing Christian thoughts.
Satanic style is unacceptable from a Christian viewpoint, because of its denial to the Biblical truth. Generation differences, cyberspace dangers and virtual reality are also opposing Christian thoughts in our modern society.
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The situations are deteriorating for those who insists on clinging to the world's anti-intellectualism despite the better alternative provided by our Creator. Anti-intellectual evangelism allows the negative influences of popular culture. The negative influences of contemporary culture corrupts the thinking of the church and individual Christians.
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In Genesis, the Serpent tempted Eve and Eve caused Adam to fall into sin together. Since the beginning of human creation, Adam and Eve choosed to disobey God. The heart ruled over the mind. This signified the beginning of the mind focusing on the secret desires of the heart. Without much thought on the consequences man committed the deadly sin since the beginning of time. Guinness evangelical anti-intellectualism touched on this intellectual weakness but concluded that contemporary society was at fault. Guinness providing the quintessential example of mindless anti-intellectualism in evangelical Christianity today could reinforce his point better.
Painting by Yuri Klapouh (1963, Ukrainian),
Picture posted by Denilce Luca (DnLiveArt) on Sunday, 2 September 2012 at 12:44 - Jealousy
Despite that curious omission, "Fit Bodies, Fat Minds" provides a challenge to change our ways of thinking (or not thinking), and to begin working to love God with our minds in conjunction with our hearts.
Why is developing a Christian mind important?
Intellectual Needs 
Paul also requested Timothy to bring along his scrolls and parchments (2 Timothy 4:13). The scrolls were probably Old Testament Hebrew texts while the parchments were probably other books or writing material.
It is fascinating that as he faced impending deaths, Paul still wanted his scrolls and parchments so that he could continue to read, mediate and write. Paul remained a Bible reader and scholar till the end. His mind was always active and curious. He must have read widely and deeply. The Lord blessed him with a good mind and used him to write Scripture and to establish His truth and doctrines, and to refute heresies and false teachers.
PHOTO: Paul also requested Timothy to bring along his scrolls and parchments. His mind was always active and curious.
“When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” (2 Timothy 4:13). The Lord blessed him with a good mind and used him to write Scripture and to establish His truth and doctrines, and to refute heresies and false teachers. Without the intellectual ability he might not be able to accomplish the these tasks.
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In this request, we note Paul's intellectual needs. What was true for Paul is also true for us. Some people have the wrong notion that faith is only a matter of sentiment, and one need only to have an emotional relationship with Jesus. This cannot be further from the truth for we are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37, Luke 10:27, emphasis added). There is a kind of anti-intellectualism in some Christian circles that runs contrary to biblical spirituality.
Picture posted by Courtnaye Richard - Loving the Lord with all Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
It is true there is a type of dry intellectualism that kills true devotion to Christ, such was the case with much of medieval scholasticism and its post-Reformation offspring. The solution, however, is not to swing to the other extreme and reject the proper use of the mind and intellect. Commitment to Christ and faithfulness to Him is not antithetical (directly opposed) to the legitimate use of the mind to think about our faith and contemporary challenges.
Picture posted by Vitaliy Shelemba on 18 June 2016 - Pharisee always looking down on others
Paul knew the importance of the mind and saw that a proper use of the mind is necessary in worship. There were people in the early church who had misunderstood the value of the mind or were attracted to the ecstatic religious movements of their day. They allowed their worship services to descend to nothing more than delirious mindless practices, mistaking their ecstasy for true devotion to Christ. Thus Paul wrote: "I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind" (1 Corinthians 14:15). The proper exercise of the mind will save us from mindless worship that may entertain but does not edify [instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually].
Most people prefer the selective approach to the bible-selecting only what reinforces their own beliefs and behaviors - by Seedy4Cascadia (twitter) on 19 Mar 2015 at 8:24 AM
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The mind, like the body, can also run wild. It must be properly disciplined and trained. Spiritual transformation includes the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), which results in the removal of the devil's tight blindfold over people's minds (2 Corinthians 4:4) so that new godly attitudes can be adopted (Ephesians 4:23). Paul also pointed to the need to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5) because the mind, independent of God, is capable of all kinds of sinful thoughts and attitudes.
Painting by Peter Paul Rubens 1577-1640 - Carrying the cross
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One way in which the mind is shaped, transformed, and tutored is through the careful and regular reading of God's Word and the application of it in daily life. The mind is also stretched by reading good Christian literature that explains biblical truths and principles and illustrates the Christian life that God is pleased with. John Wesley, again, is a good example here. He called himself a man of one book (homo unius libri) pointing to the centrality of the Bible in his life. 
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But that did no mean that he did not read anything else. Rather, he read very widely and on a wide range of topics, so much so that he had an educated opinion on many subjects, including science, history, economics, and medicine.
Through many of Wesley's early travelling preachers were simple laymen such as tailors, farmers, and cobblers, he developed a reading programme for them, compiling excerpts from 120 books into A Christian Library of 50 Volumes that he considered to be important for the training and reflection of his preachers.  Those were not easy material even for well-educated people, but Wesley expected the good use of the mind and the place of sanctified reason in Christian discipleship and ministry.
John Wesley edited and abridged a number of devotional classics and republished them in what he called A Christian Library. These “Extracts from and Abridgments of the Choicest Pieces of Practical Divinity Which Have Been Published in the English Tongue,” as Wesley subtitled them, were first published in 50 volumes in 1750. The World Methodist Museum houses the First Edition of all 50 volumes.
Posted by by admin in Artifacts, Timeline on 24 March 1750
Paul set the tone for all of us by reminding us how important his scrolls and parchments were, even during the waiting period for his martyrdom. In his comments on this verse, John Calvin wrote: "Still more does this passage refute the madness of the fanatics who despise books and condemn all reading and boast only of . . . their private inspirations by God. But we should note that this passage commends continual reading to all godly men as a thing from which they can profit." 
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Christians are today not reading as much as their forebears, and even if they are reading, the reading material could be better. There are so many treasures from Christian history that remain unknown to modern Christians. It is important that Christians exercise their minds to read these books so that they can grow deeper in their faith and devotion to Christ. Such reading has three effects: educational, therapeutic, and transformative. They inform and shape our thinking; they heal us of our blindness and mindless ways; and they bring about transformation in our lives that are based on the strong foundations of sound godly beliefs, principles, and values.
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The Bible, of course, is the most important book we must read and internalise. Reading it with the heart, soul and mind would benefit us greatly. In fact, without it, we would be lost in the cacophony (noise) of our modern world, where false ideologies are being shouted out and sold.
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Paul's example should inspire us and move us to action. Christian author Os Guiness wrote a book with the title Fit Bodies, Fat Minds, highlighting that while there is a growing obsession with physical health and fitness, modern people are suffering from flabby minds that are unable to differentiate obvious truths from obvious lies.  Paul was one who subjected both body and mind to the lordship of Christ and showed us the way to follow Christ with our sanctified minds too.
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In sharing various needs as he faced death, Paul revealed a healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life. It is not limited to the spirit and its needs, but the life of the spirit is also lived out in a physical body and expressed through the mind and relationships with people. In all these areas, Paul was human like all of us, with various needs to be met legitimately by the grace of God, and which enabled him to live a life pleasing to God. At the heart of such a life, of course, is the spiritual realm, which is the focus of the next chapter (13).
His martyrdom, poured into the Church all his doctrine with all his blood. He left fourteen Epistles, which have been a fountain-head of the Church's doctrine, the consolation and delight of her greatest Saints.
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Read more at http://jesus-passion.com/saint_paul.htm - JUNE 30.—ST. PAUL.
What can the church do to ensure that Christians are not strangers to the wonderful treasure trove of good Christian literature?
Start a Great Books Reading Club 
Inaugurate (initiate) a church reading club where the good Christian literature are read and discussed. Participants would then be encouraged to compare and contrast with the Bible. Reading and discussing these texts is the heart of a classical education and can greatly stimulate church members today.
The reading selections should reflect the distilled intellectual wisdom of Christianity. At least some of the authors in a group’s reading list should be Christians, or at least influenced by the Christian worldview. (For example, C. S. Lewis is a perennial favourite that combined colorful prose with deep reflection.)
Putting these suggestions into practice will be made easier if church leadership includes some academics. Churches that already have a broadly trained pastor of Christian education on staff will be far ahead into the activity.
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Subscribe To Our Daily Bread 
Our Daily Bread Ministries' mission is to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all. Their vision is to see people of all nations experiencing a personal relationship with Christ, growing to be more like Him, and serving in a local body of His family.
Spend time in God's Word and find deeper meaning in each day's Scripture reading. Our Daily Bread Ministries offers apps and mobile-friendly sites for smart phone, tablet, and other mobile devices, to help everyone grow in their faith, become more like Christ, and share the truth of God’s Word with others.
Monthly prayer focus and daily Scripture readings align with those devotionals, offering a wonderful way to manage the daily schedule while enjoying reminders of God and the work He is doing around the world.
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Incorporating these suggestions and many other ideas into the life of the church can meet the needs of intellectual Christians while also greatly helping all believers develop their God-given minds to better love and serve the Lord. Remember that Jesus called his followers to love him with all their faculties—including the mind (Matthew 22:37).
We prayed that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength as commanded by the Bible. Help us not to allow our worship services to descend to nothing more than delirious mindless practices, mistaking our ecstasy for true devotion to Christ. Help us to have healthy holistic perspective of the Christian life, to be met legitimately by the grace of God. Enable us to live a life that is pleasing to God. Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!".
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By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012
 Kenneth, posted on 16 February 2016, How to Encourage Intellectual Christians in the Evangelical Church, https://reflectionsbyken.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/how-to-encourage-intellectual-christians-in-the-evangelical-church/
 Our Daily Bread Ministries, http://ourdailybread.org/
 Allan H. Harvey, firstname.lastname@example.org, Fit Bodies, Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don't Think and What to Do About It, http://steamdoc.s5.com/writings/guinness94.html
 Wesley, Preface to his Sermons on Several Occasions.
 John Wesley, A Christian Library: Consisting of Extracts from, and Abridgments of, the choicest Pieces of practical Divinity which have been published in the English Tongue in Fifty Volumes (Bristol: Felix Farley, 1749-1755)
 Calvin, The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemom, 341.
 Os Guiness, Fit Bodies, Fat minds (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994).
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1 Corinthians 14:15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+14%3A15&version=NIV
2 Corinthians 4:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+4%3A4&version=NIV
2 Corinthians 10:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+10%3A5&version=NIV
2 Timothy 4:9-15 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A9-15&version=NIV
2 Timothy 4:13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A13&version=NIV
Deuteronomy 6:5 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+6%3A5&version=NIV
Ephesians 4:23 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+4%3A23&version=NIV
Luke 10:27 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A27&version=NIV
Matthew 22:37 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+22%3A37&version=NIV
Romans 12:2 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+12%3A2&version=NIV