The War Against the Intellect: God’s Creation Diminished

One of the battles I face as a Pentecostal who has a God given passion for academia is the battle between faith and reason. The older I get the more I hope that this war would end, but with every step in the right direction that I face I am reminded that  perfect peace is not attainable this side of Heaven.

I am all about the emotive expressions that are found within the Pentecostal tradition, and I am a firm believer in the miracles and supernatural; I would even label myself a Continuationist (one who believes that the spiritual gifts of God are still present even today). But must we disregard our intellect for our expression? I see a wide spread motion within Pentecostalism, that places our intellect as inferior to other aspects of our interaction with God. And it is sad to see, given that the philosophy which pushes the idea that intellect is subservient to one’s experience, does not find it’s origin Scripture.

This idea which places a false dichotomy (a false war) between faith and reason, has an ill effect on the life of a Christian and Christianity as a whole. While there are many consequences that can be named, here are but a few:

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My Anthem. My Heartcry. My Battlecry.

As an undergraduate I struggled to keep a 3.0. For some that would be a miracle, since they do not enjoy school and or have a difficult time with it. But for someone who aspires to be a professor and attend a top notch university, that is almost like academic suicide.
I made a few poor decisions and made a habit of pushing myself too hard with a ton of things on my plate.¬†Massive amounts of stress, lack of sleep and sometimes a day or to without eating because I couldn’t spare the 3 hours a day one spends eating; which as you can imagine, led to emotional drain and panic/anxiety attacks almost weekly.

Many friends and professors had no idea what was going on only that I seemed different. I just wasn’t turning in assignments. I wasn’t spending time with friends. I am pretty sure I cried myself to sleep a couple times, for a degree I was not sure I even wanted anymore; even as I walked across the stage at graduation a new anxiety gripped me. An echo of a new fear resonated in the auditorium, it overpowered the cheers and mass celebrations of the crowds, and it trumped the sense of victory that finishing the race should have brought.

The same phrase reverberated not just within my head, it seemed to shake the very foundations of the auditorium.

Continue reading “My Anthem. My Heartcry. My Battlecry.”