One of the crucial keys in the unfolding of this burden is that the world has come to a different mindset than that which existed in previous centuries. For nearly two thousand years, the global thinking (at least in Western civilization) has been the logic of reason, particularly linear logic that is based on absolutes of the thesis and antithesis. Linear logic was grandly explored by the metaphysical Greek philosophers. This logic was built upon the premise of law, order, design, purpose, and beauty, as well as the reality of right and wrong, truth and error, and both the distinction and the separation of a thesis and antithesis. It was also based on absolutes and the fact that opposites in logic cannot be blended together.
A Brief History of Logic
One of the assets that strengthened the continuation of reason as the form of logic was the contributions of men from the days of Augustine to the Reformation. These leading thinkers were theologians who promoted the concepts of biblical truth. Natural logic and reason were pursued and understood best in the light of the revelation of the Scriptures. Beyond the Reformation, the absolutes of logical thinking even helped elevate the secularistic perspectives of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Enlightenment philosophies expounded in the Age of Reason.
Beginning with the Italian Renaissance, thinkers began to elevate man himself to the center of reality. If the present view of modernism were viewed as a family tree, the Enlightenment would be modernism’s mother and the Renaissance, its grandmother.
Personifying the beginning of the Enlightenment is René Descartes’ declaration “I think, therefore I am.” God was not the center of truth any longer—man was. Contemporary thinkers of that time embraced this maxim, even declaring man could alter the way God had made the human mind to think in its logical context. Any thought, irrespective of God, could be declared true; man could now be the author of “truthful thinking.”
In the late 1700s, Georg Hegel began to toy with the idea that there are various forms of logic. He posited the idea of dialecticism, a human philosophy which combines a thesis and antithesis, literally blending opposites together for a new conclusive belief or thought. By this innovative form of logic, pure reason literally began to decay in academic and practical thinking.
In the 1800s, another form of logic came to the forefront called existentialism. This concept of thinking or logic is one that totally denies all absolutes, even denouncing the blending of opposites (dialecticism). Existentialism discards all forms of thinking from previous centuries. In existentialism, the individual thinks only what he wants to think, and truth is only what the thinker wants to be true according to him. In this form of logic, there are no universal principles; there are no universal absolutes. The desired existence for the individual is simply his own created concept of truth.
In previous centuries, linear logic reasoning was based upon proving by principles and adhering to what was proven by logic; its conclusion was considered truth. But this new form of logic does not rest upon any principle other than that the individual himself becomes the determining factor of what is true, without the need of proof; only thinking it to be so becomes truth for the individual.
This move in the history of logic is known as post-reason, post-truth, or postmodern. For nearly two thousand years, linear logic reasoning was accepted as the natural metaphysical concept of logic. This form of logic claimed there were universal and eternal truths and values which were founded upon absolutes and governing principles that lay beyond man. Just as the Supreme Court back in 1983 changed its presupposition from the US Constitution’s interpretation to that of a “public policy” interpretation, the philosophical and ideological world changed in thinking from absolutes of reason to existentialism in what is known as postmodernism. This form of so-called reasoning has now become the logic of nearly all the governments and human organizations of the world. All concepts of ethics are now interpreted through this presupposition and this worldview. We have come to an hour that the thinking of man is so affected by the contemporary that sound thinking is destroyed. We must now ask the question, “How should we then live?”
God: The Author of Sound Thinking
As Bible Christians, we believe that God created the entirety of the systems of the human body, including the brain, the mind, as well as man’s capacity to think orderly. We adamantly oppose the hypothesis of evolution.
In the Greek language of the New Testament, several terms carefully unfold the truth of how God designed the capacities of the mind to think. First, there is the term nous, translated “mind.” The nous is the faculty necessary for understanding what is true or real. Therefore, the faculty to think becomes the habit of thought or the very essence of thought.
Second, there is the term phroneo, or the “content of the process of thought expressed,” or the “object of thought within the mind.” A companion word is phronesis, which denotes “an understanding, leading to right action”; it is an understanding in prudence and wisdom.
Third, there is the term noia, or the “mind with the object of its thought coming to a perception of thought.” This perception then leads the mind to a collection of perceptions that builds a logos of thinking that becomes the essence of all that a person knows. The fullness of these thoughts is an individual’s epistemology.
However, we are born into sin. As the mind over the years grows older in sin, there are lusts that take over the mind. As the world presents its thinking, the human heart within collaborates with the world’s thoughts. Satan then adds his own blinding thoughts, producing a trilogy of intense thought that influences the mind and eventually paralyzes its ability to think as God initially created it to do. As the serpent affected Eve’s thinking (about God and His creation of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and ultimately against the very Word of God), so the mind can depart from its created purpose and enter another realm of thinking, thus creating a product of that thinking. Note Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:17, 18:
The world and the Devil have their powerful influences upon the mind and its concept of thinking. Paul also warned in Colossians 2:8:
Man is now rising in the earth to destroy everything that God created, including the concept of right thinking. This fact is revealed in Romans 1:18:
When man in hatred goes so far from God in the rejection of God, and when he does not like to retain God in his knowledge, God will give him “over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”
Initially, God tests men’s thinking; then men turn aside from Him. As a result, they do not like to retain God in their knowledge, their epignosis, their “full, experiential knowledge.” They reject God, and God then rejects their mental attitude and gives them over to a reprobate mind. God intentionally changes the very entity He created for sound thinking, for healthy thinking, and He gives it over to cloudy, irrational, insane thinking. When this happens, man literally loses his mind and the capability of sound thinking.
When there are enough people who irrationally think the same way on earth, then these people are considered the sane thinkers; those against their irrationality are viewed as the insane members of society. Only God Who made the mind can maintain that mind in soundness of thought and thinking! When man leaves the consciousness of God and rejects Him, God changes the mind in its capability of sound and sensible thinking. He truly gives man over to a reprobate mind.
In the End Time (according to the pattern of the last days seen in Genesis 6), the wickedness of man will be great in the earth. We are told that “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). Evil thinking, wicked thinking, destructive thinking, terrorist thinking, all are the growing thinking of the End Time. But there is also the “reprobate mind” that is the instigator of and collaborator with the reprobate heart, the thinking that makes the man what he is. Oh, dear reader, this is where we are on the planet Earth today. Not only are the thoughts of man’s heart collectively evil, but also the mind is reprobate in its thinking ability. Mankind collectively has now entered into a global rejection of God. We have come to a “social mind,” a “social will,” and “social thinking” against the very laws that God created for the human mind to think. Today, the minds of individuals are the product of the nous and the noia of the world; more and more, society has embraced reprobate thinking.
Because of sin and the mind of an age thinking for us, the mind can become irrevocably damaged in its ability to soundly think. Thus, in the natural man we could never come to God and never come to true sound thinking. To the reprobate mind, everything concerning God is foolishness: the Gospel, the cross, the concept of depravity. The reprobate mind has lost its ability to come to God. The natural man in this condition will never discern the things of God; they are foolishness to him and neither can he know them.
The Demise of Sound Thinking
Therefore, dear reader, we are truly in the days of the demise of sound thinking. We must remember the term demise. Demise is a death of something. Additionally, it causes the transfer of an estate to another. Once sound thinking is dead in an individual, a nation, or the world, the concept of thinking is transferred to another or to something else. This is what global society has come to. In our society’s irrationality, right has become wrong, truth has become error, God has become the Devil, morality has become immoral, and evil has become good. In every field of epistemology today (Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, Constitutionalists, Abolitionists, Socialists, Communists, Democrats, Republicans, the Tea Party, etc.), all persons have thought concepts about God, Christ, Christianity, the purpose of Christianity, and what is a Christian. However, nothing of their thinking in these sacred precincts is correct. How can those who claim to be so conservative in politics become so liberal in their views of God and Christianity? From the beggar and his homelessness, to the billionaire with his wealth, they all have their minds, their thinking, their logos, their preconditions of reason. This world is now saturated by the overwhelming powers of the media, education, and the movie industry, to come to one mind thought and one worldview of everything. Truly we have been forced into the world’s presuppositions in how we are to collectively think.
In days of the demise of sound thinking, it is important to ask, “How should we then live?” How can we live for God in such a world as this? The first thing that must happen for an individual to even come to God is that his mind must be changed. The only way for this to happen is that God Himself must grant repentance, or metanoia (“a change of mind”). The very perception of his mind must change. The Holy Spirit must bring godly sorrow to the sinner’s mind for everything he has thought and done. It is from that godly sorrow that the Spirit must work repentance, a changing of the perception of the mind in its thinking. Man must have a change of mind before he can have a change of heart. His whole perspective of life of irrationality must change; he must come to himself, as the prodigal son did in Luke 15. Grace must teach his heart to fear, for the fear of the Lord will be the beginning of knowledge and wisdom to bring that mind to what God intended for it to think. Only the Bible can provide the preconditions for man’s experience and reasoning. We must see that the Bible fully provides all principles for the preconditions of sound thinking. It provides the laws of logic. It alone provides the uniformity of nature. It provides absolute morality.
God’s thinking is represented in the laws of logic. He is omnipresent and unchangeable; in Him there can be no contradictions because God cannot change; God is universal in His thinking. All logic is in God, and He cannot deny Himself. The Bible brings us absolute morality, and it goes back to creation. God made the laws; if man does not take this position, then he will do what he wants to do and change the rules as he goes along. Universally, man cannot live this way; if he does, he will destroy himself. This destruction is what we are witnessing throughout the earth today. The evolutionist may say, “I don’t believe in God and I can think logically; I don’t believe in the biblical worldview and I can use logic.” This is like saying, “I don’t need air to breathe; I don’t believe in air, and I can breathe just fine.” It is not a rational response. The evolutionist, the atheist, the agnostic, and the secularist have no foundation for their worldview; it is based on self-concepts of thought. If the Bible is the highest authority, then it must be the standard for everything in our life, including our living.
The mind becomes the intermediary place to get to the heart; therefore, we must live with a constant vigil over our mind and its thinking. Note 1 Peter 1:13:
Paul declares the following in Romans 12:2:
We must remember as Christians that the conformity with the world begins in the mind, in our thinking. Note First Peter 4:1:
The Apostle reveals needed truth in Philippians 2:5:
This term mind in the original Greek is designating the “process of thinking.”
Hebrews 12:3 calls us to “consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”
We must also take heed to the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:3–6:
And yet, there is also the warning of Romans 8:5, 6:
Yes, we must always be on guard, for the flesh is ever drawing us back to our former thinking.
May God ever anoint us with His Spirit for right thinking. But may we also ever “stir up the gift of God, . . . For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:6, 7).
In these days of the demise of sound thinking, “How should we then live?” We must live by giving ourselves over to the One who made the mind, the thought concept, and letting His Word become the premise and foundation for all of our reasoning.