Over the years, I have been told by more than one person to use my noggin. I soon learned that meant I should use my mind to think logically and rationally.
Do you want a confession? I haven’t always done that, but I need to. How about you? I think the reason we haven’t always used our noggins is obvious. It’s hard work. It’s easier to just accept what someone says. It takes time and effort to examine the evidence, consider the possibilities, and think our way through to a sound conclusion.
This is true regarding any matter, but it is especially true regarding biblical matters. We are bombarded with books, Facebook posts, sermons from the pulpit, and radio and television personalities telling us what we should think. And often we go along blindly with what we are told.
Though it is easy to do that, it is just plan dangerous!
The Bible encourages an open and honest examination of Scripture. The Bereans were praised for their fair-minded reception of the Word and for daily examining what they had heard to see if it was true (Acts 17:11). Paul was not afraid to use sound reasoning when talking with people about spiritual matters (Acts 19:8; 24:25).
Jesus was described as a teacher more than fifty times in the gospels, and He didn’t expect His disciples to leave their minds behind when they followed Him.
I often remind folks that God gave us Bibles and brains and expects us to use both. Christianity should be viewed as a thinking man’s religion. Truth has nothing to fear from investigation. It has stood the test of scrutiny in the past and will continue to do so.
In a practical way, this means we must encourage, and not discourage, thinking and questioning when it comes to a study of the Bible. And, we must not automatically look with suspicion on those who are honestly searching for answers to difficult questions. In fact, we should offer ourselves as fellow searchers after truth.
As we journey forward, God’s Word should always be our polar star, but we must also realize that faith which is afraid to think and investigate will never be adequate.
Use your noggin.