The Mind, Not the Brain Matters

Nov 22, 2002 03:00 AM EST

SHAWNEE, Okla.— On Nov. 9, the renowned author and professor of pastoral studies at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School, Calvin Miller, spoke to at the chapel room at the Oklahoma Baptist University, where he had graduated in 1958. In his visit, he told the University’s homecoming chapel crowd that Christian education is about distinguishing the mind from the brain.

"I believe that minds and brains are not the same thing," Miller said. "The brain is merely the vehicle and the mind is the driver.

"I believe it's the job of Christian education to put a mind in every human brain. I'm a believer in Christian education."

Looking through the passage, Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus," Miller said in his message that though this world is filled with paradoxes, we should see it through the vision of God.

"When we think about the diversity in our culture, you could easily rearrange Dickens to say, 'It was a time for humanism, our time. It was a time for inhumanity,'" Miller said. "It was the epic of Microsoft, it was the age of illiteracy. It was a day of unisex and a day of megasex."

The characteristics of today's culture, he noted, result in humans not ever developing or using their mind power.

"We've sunk a long ways," he said. "It's kind of a dumb-down age. It's a very plastic world out there, and as we continue to dumb down, and dumb down, and dumb down, it will become more plastic.

"We are effectively amusing ourselves to death."

God wants the same thing that Christian colleges want: to put a mind in every brain, Miller said.

"The great glory of Christian colleges is not just trigonometry or algebra," he said. "The best part of the Christian mind is we're inhabited by a worldview given to us by a Savior who has moved inside of us."

He noted that in Philippians 2:8 the focus of "Jesus became obedient" should not be on the word "obedient" but on the word "became." The emphasis should be on the process.

When Jesus was born, Miller said, he did not announce who he was to his mother. He acted as any other child.

"He was in the process of finding out who he was," he said. "That's the process of building the great mind, of putting the mind in every brain.

"The process of becoming means that all our lives, we're going to learn more and more, hopefully in places like [OBU], which hopefully will stand out like a star in a dumb-down world around it," he said. "When you put a Christian mind in the most ordinary of brains, some wonderful things happen.

"We march on a great plastic world with the mystery of godliness. And we love that world in the name of Jesus."

By Pauline J.