I first heard the expression “renaissance Christian” from apologist and attorney John Warwick Montgomery as he gave a lecture on the importance of developing the Christian mind. Montgomery explained that, much like the Renaissance era’s revival of classical learning and culture, a “renaissance Christian” spends a great deal of time pursuing knowledge, wisdom, and truth.
My hope is that these 5 tips for lifelong learning will encourage the budding renaissance Christian to cultivate a well-informed, logical mind.
1. Limit the time spent on entertainment
First, take inventory of the amount of time spent on the Internet, watching television, playing video games, etc. A quick check-in on Facebook or Twitter, for instance, can turn into hours. While community (even online) can be fruitful, it can also serve as a distraction, pulling us away from work, studies, and family.
2. Set short-term and long-term reading goals
Set aside a specific amount of time each day to reading, commit to reflective (analytical) reading of a certain number of books a year, and read multiple books on a single topic (syntopical reading) to develop a well-rounded view. It is also important to be ready to engage with people in the topic of faith by selecting books in biblical theology, worldview thinking, logic, and rhetoric. Some of my favorites include Augustine’s Confessions and The City of God and Blaise Pascal’s Pensées.
3. Keep informed of current issues to evaluate according to your Christian worldview
Stay up-to-date with the latest news, particularly how it relates to the Christian faith. RTB’s Science News Flash podcast, for example, offers a unique Christian perspective on headline-grabbing discoveries, and Apologetics315.com features a variety of apologetics resources, including interviews, reviews, and podcasts.
4. Expand your education
Sign up for courses, either online or at a local institution, in topics such as philosophy, science, and mathematics. Or attend local academic lectures as an economical alternative to courses.
5. Visit museums, art galleries, zoos, aquariums, historical landmarks, etc.
Take a trip to a local museum or center of cultural learning, or plan a visit to an important landmark while on vacation.
We are commanded to love God with all of our mind, as well as our heart and strength (Mark 12:30). It’s through pursuing the life of the mind to the glory of God that the signature of the Creator-Redeemer who reveals the ultimate Truth becomes all the clearer.