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Author, Teacher Says God Likes Minds

November 13, 2002

The distinction between the mind and the brain is what Christian education at OBU is all about, said the well-known author and professor of pastoral studies at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School.

"I believe that minds and brains are not the same thing," he said. "The brain is merely the vehicle and the mind is the driver.

"I believe it's the job of Christian education to put a mind in every human brain. I'm a believer in Christian education."

He examined a version of Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." God wants us to see the world as he sees it, Miller said. This vision is what we strive for, though our world is filled with paradoxes.

"When we think about the diversity in our culture, you could easily rearrange Dickens to say, 'It was a time for humanism, our time. It was a time for inhumanity,'" he said. "It was the epic of Microsoft, it was the age of illiteracy. It was a day of unisex and a day of megasex."

The characteristics of today's age result in humans not ever developing or using their mind power.

"We've sunk a long ways," he said. "It's kind of a dumb-down age. It's a very plastic world out there, and as we continue to dumb down, and dumb down, and dumb down, it will become more plastic.

"We are effectively amusing ourselves to death."

He added that God wants the same thing that Christian colleges want --to put a mind in every brain.

"The great glory of Christian colleges is not just trigonometry or algebra," he said. "The best part of the Christian mind is we're inhabited by a worldview given to us by a Savior who has moved inside of us."

He explained that in Philippians 2:8, the focus of "Jesus became obedient," should not be on the word "obedient," but on the word "becoming." The emphasis should be on the process.

When Jesus was born, Miller said, he did not announce who he was to his mother. He did what other babies do.

"He was in the process of finding out who he was," he said. "That's the process of building the great mind, of putting the mind in every brain.

"The process of becoming means that all our lives, we're going to learn more and more, hopefully in places like this, which hopefully will stand out like a star in a dumb down world around it," he said. "When you put a Christian mind in the most ordinary of brains, some wonderful things happen.

"We march on a great plastic world with the mystery of godliness. And we love that world in the name of Jesus."

Miller, a 1958 graduate of OBU, is a distinguished author and speaker, appearing frequently in lectureships and preaching engagements around the world.

A native of Enid, Miller earned the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He moved to Beeson Divinity School in January 1999 after several successful pastorates and a faculty position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

His first major writings, The Singer Trilogy, were released in 1975 by InterVarsity Press. He has completed more than 40 other works since that time.