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Sunday, March 17, 2013

On Spirituality and Intelligence

How can intellect hinder spiritual growth? How can it help? What is the role of intelligence in your spiritual life? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1131).

But great things can happen when we humble ourselves enough to let God decide what comes after we do our best. (Through the Year with Jimmy Carter, page 64).

The essence of spirituality is the rendering up of control to God. The essence of intelligence is to increase control though determining cause-and-effect. From the get-go on this basic level the purposes of spiritual life and intelligence not only differ but are in conflict. Nevertheless, the ultimate shared goal for both intelligence and spirituality is abundant life. Without this fixed star guiding both, spirituality becomes a sham and intelligence a vehicle of perversion. For both, pragmatism in the end becomes the touchstone determining whether this overarching goal is being met--But by their fruit you will know them (Matthew 7:16).

Spiritual life and intelligence in concert serve to balance the extremism to which both can fall prey. Intelligence reveals the shams of spiritual life and spiritual life reveals the perversions of intelligence. Accordingly, the providential eye of God wells up with sorrow and joy.

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