Which of the three types of faith (head, heart, hands) do you most identify with?
Least identify with?
How have you come to develop the faith expression?
How do you think we might be able to overcome the fragmented faith that separates head, heart, and hands?
How might churches and Christian organizations seek to overcome this separation?
Head, Heart and Hand Essay Chapter 1
Jeff was a thoughtful Christian. He grew up in a secular home that had no time for matters of religion, but during his high school years came to faith in Christ.
Because family and friends Because family and friends chided him for his newfound beliefs and commitment, Jeff began to seek answers for the hard questions he faced.
By the time Jeff graduated from a university as a philosophy major, he had developed intellectual rigor regarding Christian beliefs and apologetics. He knew the difficult and skeptical questions to his faith, but read broadly to find answers to the challenges. Jeff often found himself in the middle of intellectual debates with fellow students and had ready answers for them.
Christians on campus frequently found help through his philosophical and theological responses to the tough issues. Jeff knew what he believed and why he believed it. But, interestingly, there were significant elements of true and vital faith that seemed to be missing in Jeff’s life. Personal prayer, spiritual disciplines and fellowship with other Christians increasingly became a low priority in his
At times they were hardly evident. In fact he sometimes times showed contempt for the personal piety of other believers, noting their shallow emotionality and lack of theological or philosophical depth.
Moreover, in his zeal to defend the faith against skeptics, he sometimes showed a lack of compassion and care for people. Jeff believed, articulated and defended biblical faith. He had what we might call a faith of the head. Unfortunately, that’s about where it ended.
Christina was a middle-aged woman with a faith expression very different from Jeff’s. For her, biblical faith was not so much about beliefs as about a vibrant inner experience, demonstrated with deep emotion. When she led worship in her
home church, she exuded enthusiasm, vitality and spontaneity. Christina felt her faith in Christ, and the Holy Spirit was continually speaking to the depth of her being.
Passion was the essence of her spirituality, and she particularly cherished the various mystical, emotional experiences through which she was drawn nearer to God. Christina read the Bible, emphasizing that it was not for knowledge and understanding but for “a spiritual zap,” as she termed it. She yearned for the Word to move her heart and she yearned to feel the presence and power of God.
When it came to making decisions in life, she relied little on the wisdom of others or on reflection on the situation at hand; she prayed for God’s direct, inner direction. She felt the leading of God. The Lord was her personal friend. But there were aspects of Christina’s life that caused some to wonder. At one point she had a very emotional, mystical experience in which she claimed that God was telling her to divorce her husband.
When friends in her church raised questions from a biblical standpoint, she responded, “I know what the Bible says, but this is what God has told me to do, and I’m going to do it.” God had spoken deeply in her soul, so she said, and the divorce became reality.