The Makings of a Christian Mind

Harry Blarmires, Charlotte (from Charlotte’s Web), and Frank Lloyd Wright. What do they have in common?

In my last post, I closed by asking, “Do you have a truly Christian mind?”  In this post, I simply want to list the six characteristics of a Christian mind that Harry Blarmires describes in his book, The Christian Mind (first published in 1963).

Before you read this list, you may want to pause and consider what items you’d put on this list.  Can you think of Scriptures that would give you direction in answering this broad question? Do you think there is really such a thing as a “Christian mind”? What is a Christian mind? Well, I’m not giving my ideas today. I’ll let you simmer on this topic. It’s a great dinner table or small group topic to pursue!

Here are Blarmire’s six “marks of a Christian mind:”

1. A spiritual orientation

2. An awareness of evil

3. A conception of truth

4. Acceptance of authority

5. Concern for the Person

6. A sacramental cast

Now, what do these items mean? These are only the categories or titles Blamire’s assigns the “marks.” Blamires writes a chapter on each. Very interesting.  Some poignant  thoughts and great quotations. Yet, I’m not suggesting you go out and get this book.  The core of it — the theme and outline — are timeless, but Blamire’s illustrations which are largely British and from the 50s and early 60s are rather dated. His main points and sub points are clear enough, but the expansion and support of his claims often become tedious. This is a book that should be re-written for our times and our nation. (Granted, an American version came out in 1978 which is a bit helpful but still does not bridge the gap.)

So simmer on these marks. From these little titles, you can gain a sense of where he’s going with them. How do you think he might define, describe, and explain each of these?  What Scriptures and reasoning may he use? How would he contrast these marks to the marks of a secular mind?

That’s my “good reads” topic for today. Why don’t you send in some thoughts you have on this topic. What is a Christian mind, and in what ways to you have one? What are you doing to cultivate one, (if you want one)? Or, answer a less intimidating question: What do Blamires, Charlotte, and F.L. Wright have in common?

Guess what? I’m changing the topic! Just wanted to let you know that 1) I submitted a chunk of work on my major writing project (dissertation) yesterday, and am now happily exhausted; 2) we fly to Florida on Thursday to spend the rest of March at the Good Samaritan Mission (near Tampa). We’ve worked there many times in the past and have developed some special friendships.  This is a Hispanic mission, serving both local and migrant workers. We will be helping with a big event coming up, and with whatever they have for us that we can do. I mainly do writing projects for them. They know they can’t get much work out of my body, but my husband is quite versatile and helps with numerous projects.

So, I may write from Florida, but if you don’t hear from me again this month, you’ll know why.

Hope you are doing well, wherever you are.  As you live your days this week, consider, Why am I doing what I’m doing? What motives me? What pleases me? What upsets me? How do my answers to these questions show me what kind of mind I have? How “Christian” is it becoming? Then, drop Journey North a line or two.

Sending warmth and sunshine from Arizona and soon from Florida!  (Don’t be jealous! Not a Christian mind! Just join us in the warmer climate!)

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:37-39

Categories: Spiritual Growth | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The Makings of a Christian Mind

  1. Anonymous


    I think you have a writing project ahead of you (after you finish your Doctorate). Updating Blarmire’s book would be a challenge for you. My first thoughts about today’s topic would be to drench my mind with the Living Word. All these “marks of a Christian mind” are taught in His Word. Daily manna (eating from His Word), meditating on it (really chewing), praying for Him to show you how to use this information (digesting it for your Spiritual body’s use) and then going forward with the mind that is being developed by Him for His glory and honor. By doing this, we will see the “marks of a Chriatian mind” being utilized in our Christian walk. In addition, secondary reading would be biographies of strong Christian saints who have gone before us. Our faith will be strengthened by reading about these great examples — men and women who have walked daily with the Lord. We also live among some very precious saints who are good examples — we can learn by being with them. I once heard a speaker who said about our learning –“Garbage In, Garbage Out”. We need to put Jesus in and His attributes will come out. These are just my first thoughts. Have a good time in Florida. Will be praying for you and Paul as you minister to others (#5 in the above list). Love You, Shirley

    • kltolsen

      Shirley, so well said! I love your sentence, “We need to put Jesus in and His attributes will come out.”
      Lord, let it be! Amen.

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