Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Virtuous Minds


Philip E. Dow 
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0830827145
  • ISBN-13:  978-0830827145

This book brings up key issues facing the modern church and Christians alike. For quite some time the, "God did it, and that enough for me" answer was sufficient and the idea of a "God of the Gaps" seemed to be a valid response to the tough questions. However we live in a modern era of having to put aside not only rage, anger, brawling, and slander, but also intellectual laziness, arrogance, ignorance and cowardice. When taking God at His word, it doesn't mean that we simply stop seeking out truth or that we don't attempt to search out for completeness in our knowledge of who He is and how He operates in our world.

"Intellectual character is the force of accumulated thinking habits that shape and color every decision we make."

Being Virtuous in our mind has always had a connotation of upholding purity in our thoughts, which is valid and needed. But we must also hold up in our minds the intellect that God has given us. Honest curiosity seeks after the truth in a balanced and objective way.

I Love that Philip E. Dow breaks down "The Seven Intellectual Virtues" with such insight and understanding.
1. Intellectual Courage
2. Intellectual Carefulness
3. Intellectual Tenacity
4. Intellectual Fair-mindedness
5. Intellectual Curiosity
6. Intellectual Honesty
7. Intellectual Humility

Without one of these we run the risk of faltering on our journey to education, engagement, and integrity.

This book recommends that instead of shutting off when we feel tired, pick up a book and learn something. Like a marathon runner, you don't simply wake up one morning and jog the whole thing. You practice and build up stamina, start walking then build up with a half mile jog, keep going up to a full mile and so on. This analogy is a great one, since I am a runner I understand the difficulty that comes with a long run. Likewise we must train our minds daily to be ready when the time comes to put them to the test. These keys to Intellect are often overlooked in a world where it seems like “might makes right” or he that shouts loudest wins. With the rise of the New Atheist movement and those who are so clearly intellectually deficient, yelling at the top of their lungs falsehoods and lies. We must stand firm and rise up to a level of better thinking and truly Love God With All Our Minds!