John Piper and Mark Noll on the Life of the Mind

Jesus is king. He is the ascended, seated, reigning Lord over everything. Now what does this mean for how we think? How does his preeminence affect our intellectual pursuits?

Last fall Mark Noll and John Piper converged to discuss this topic. In an event hosted by Bethlehem College and Seminary and the MacLaurin Institute, Noll and Piper, authors of Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind and Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God respectively, each presented a lecture and interacted with questions related to the mind and Christian scholarship.

Noll’s lecture, starting at the 1:30 mark, examined two questions: first, why is the person and work of Christ the framework for the Christian approach to the work and word of God? And secondly, what benefit comes from orienting the life of the mind by this framework?

Piper’s lecture, starting at the 28:42 mark, builds on four points:

  1. Knowing God and loving God is dependent upon the act of thinking and on the material world that we experience with our five senses.
  2. Knowing God and loving God is transcendent and is not coterminous with my brain.
  3. Thinking and knowing is penultimate, and loving God is ultimate. Logic exists for loving God; reason exists for rejoicing in God.
  4. On this earth, there is no true knowledge of God and no true love for God apart from observing and thinking about the world he has made.

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary .