From Justin

I want to introduce you to one of my good theological buddies, Nick Potts. We’ve known each other for about 5-6 years now. Nick and I agree that theology is both practical and essential for our lives as Christ-followers. I asked him to write this because I know this is right up his alley and he loves discussing these things.  The content is completely his and I haven’t edited this in any way. Make sure to check out Nick’s blog and give him some love! You can find a link for his blog below or just click here.

Head vs. Heart?

We have all experienced it, the tension between the head and the heart. That internal struggle that says that we need to pursue our passion and the other side saying that we need to think rationally. However, this is folk theology. Yes, following your heart is folk theology as well as the idea of a tension between the head and heart. First, this is a false dichotomy, meaning there are certainly more aspects than merely the head and heart. Secondly, as a Christian, I read what the Scripture says about both the head and the heart, and they are on the same side, the way of the flesh.

I first want to start off by saying that we are given a choice to either follow our heart, or follow Jesus. This may not seem like a fair choice to some as they will retort with, “But Jesus lives in my heart.” This may be true, however, what I am saying is that we need to follow the Jesus that lives within us, rather than following the heart in which He resides. To follow Jesus is to listen to what He has to say and offer, as He says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). This is an easy concept, but a difficult task. If we demonstrate that we actually follow Him, we must go to what He says and believes, and follow those commands as well.

How Jesus Helps

For a quick premise, I must talk about Jesus’ view of Scripture. It is this view in which we must have, must submit, and must teach if we truly are Jesus’ followers. Matthew 22:31-32, “And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” Note: God never said that to the Pharisees, God said this to Moses. This was 1400 years after Moses[1]. But Jesus applies the concept that God speaks directly to us through Scripture. This is not to say that when Paul says to Timothy, “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). We need to learn to understand how to read contexts and to whom a certain passage is written. The first was God saying something about Himself; the latter was Paul saying something about Timothy’s visit, thus, does not apply. But when God reveals something about Himself through Scripture, He is talking directly to us. We may think it is indirect, but Jesus tells us otherwise.

So, if this is Jesus’ view of Scripture, what does Scripture say about our heart? Among many Scriptures that teach the same principle, note Jeremiah 17:9 specifically, as I believe it is one of the strongest points and most concise. The prophet says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” If the heart is deceitful, it is not a good or trustworthy guide, and thus, Jiminy Cricket is wrong to say, “Let your conscience be your guide.” And when people say, “your heart will never lead you astray,” they have already been lead astray to the point of blindness because they do not recognize that they have been swindled and bamboozled by their own heart.

A Sure Guide

What then should be our guide? This is a simple answer. God should be our guide. Now this seems very vague, but it is only vague to those with a low view of Scripture. Again, if we are to be followers of Jesus, we need to have the same beliefs Jesus did. His beliefs about Scripture were:

  • That Scripture was God talking directly to us, just as if He were speaking to us audibly.
  • We need the Scripture and we need to let Scripture interpret Scripture so we do not add to, or detract from God’s word.
  • We need to recognize the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, and recognize that the written word of God is the final authority and the final word of God as it is sufficient to equip us for every good work.

For more posts by Nick, check out www.nicholastpotts.com

[1] I understand that this time table is disputed, however, this is the general accepted date and this is not the focus.[2] I do not own the featured image or its content in any way.

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