Do not let the men deceive themselves and others with the assertion that the “Man of the Lord,” as they call Him, Who is rather our Lord and God, is without human mind”…
…If anyone has put his trust in Him as a Man without a human mind, he is really bereft of mind, and quite unworthy of salvation. For that which He has not assumed he has not healed; but that which is united to His Godhead is also saved…
…But if He [Christ Jesus] has a soul, and yet is without a mind, how is He man, for man is not a mindless animal?
St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 4th century
In the first few centuries of the church, some argued that the Christ came factory equipped with a divine mind so he automatically made the right choices, no big. Yeah, he had flesh that could suffer and die, but the divine mind had it all under control.
Gregory of Nazianzus fought for the the position that Jesus, in order to save every aspect of human nature, assumed (took upon himself) every aspect of our humanity. If he did not assume it, it couldn’t be healed and saved in Him. He could not redeem our brain and transform it to know and carry out God’s will if he did not take it with him to the cross, through the tomb and back to the throne of the Almighty.
Across the millennia, Christians have from time to time disowned the mind. Ecstatic visions, personal experience, ethnic/cultural/national traditions, feelings and other aspects of our humanity have been identified with the presence of God while the work of the mind has been discounted.
The tendency to disown the mind in our worship and service of God is a denial of the Biblical revelation of Jesus Christ. It is to miss the reality that he saved us by taking to himself every aspect of our humanity, including our mind, with all of its challenges,
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15, ESV)
To divorce our faith from the work of the mind is to deny the full import of the Incarnation of Christ expressed in John 1:14,
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (KJV)
If we infer that he did not have our gray matter, or that our gray matter is irrelevant to our life as his disciples in this world and as his transformed brothers and sisters in the next, we deny the Incarnation and do the work of the enemy,
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:2-3 NASB)
I have a brother in Christ who is taking up this challenge in the context of contemporary American Evangelicalism, where cultural conventions and feelings-based-and-targeted techniques have disparaged the devotion of our minds to God.
He goes so far as to call this a sin needing the church’s corporate confession and repentance.
And he’s come up with a provocative approach to starting the discussion in our daily encounters…