The following is from Thinking Christianly in a Media-dominated Society by Delyse E. Steyn (1992).
While written from a Christian perspective, it shows many principles of universal spirituality.
The Characteristics of the Christian Mind
The assumption here is that acquiring the Christian mind is a lifelong process of 'bringing into captivity every thought' in which efforts are directed towards the following six characteristics:
- Theological mind - the focus of the mind on God (Prov 9: 10), which presupposes an openness of mind and a 'both-worldly' (rather than 'other-worldly' or 'this-worldly') orientation to one's reality, which requires that many viewpoints, be considered;
- Historical mind - contemporary culture is essentially existentialist which fosters a hedonistic, momentary orientation, thus limiting one's historical sense in terms of both the past and the future;
- Humanist mind - the Christian mind goes beyond selfish narcissism, impersonal and predatory relationships to an intense concern for persons and the valuing of human life;
- Ethical mind - this suggests an ethical sensitivity to good and evil which is Biblically-based (Rom 12:9,21);
- Truthful mind - a recognition of both subjective and objective truth as claimed by Jesus in John 14:6, and the consequent responsibility of the knower about the known truth which also provides a wholeness, integrity and unity for life;
- Aesthetic mind - a concern for that which is beautiful and lovely which requires a transcendence of one's own taste or preference in order that something better can be attained (Gill; 1989:68-75).
An analogy of the characteristics of the popular culture and the characteristics of the Christian mind reveals a tension which will give credence to the dilemma of contemporary man as expressed by Paul in Romans 7:24. Therefore thinking Christianly is essentially an operative term in which the goal is the restoration of the image of God in the mind of modem man/woman, enabling him/her to identify the distortions in the images of the reality presented by the mass media as well as being criticized by the mass media, while simultaneously living 'comfortably' and yet not numbly, as a relevant modem man/woman, with an empathic approach to the needs of the mass man/woman.
Gill, David W. 1989: The opening of the Christian mind. Illinois: Inter-varsity press.
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