The other day, I was just in the gym getting ready to work out, and I walked up to a conversation between two people, and one turned to me and said, “explain to her the difference between North Carolina and South Carolina.” Without hesitation, I knew what she was inferring that South Carolina people are country, aka less educated then North Carolina. This perception of the “South” is widely known, and growing up in a low-income family system, the chief goal of education was graduating high school. Somehow, we knew that higher education was a key to getting out of the ghetto. By God’s grace, the opportunity came to me, and my life was/is still being entirely changed by challenging my mind to be expanded in theological knowledge and all knowledge.
In my stream of faith, the general assumptions are that as long as you have the Holy Spirit, you got all you need. While this statement is genuine, it is not complete because what is meant is that you do not need to study anything else; if you just read your bible, pray, and obey. A lot of my friends still today, do not see the importance or connection to pursuing a Dmin for ministry because it adds no value to their ministry (but then ironically, they call/text me a lot for answers to things). I do believe one of the reasons our tribe is almost anti-intellectual still is because they see the power (emotions and experiential learning) being taken away. The University of Notre Dame Historian Mark Noll in his sequential books The Scandal of The Evangelical Mind and Jesus Christ in the Life and Mind does challenge us to put aside these emotional responses less we stay captive to the “urgencies of the moment
In particular, Jesus Christ in The Life and Mind anchors all theological matters and study in the creeds, and from here, Noll lays out a framework of four stances in which to approach human learning.
Doubleness: Through the incarnation, Christ is presented as fully human and fully divine. Our human reason tends to fight the tension of this “doubleness,” but it is at the very center of our faith. “if the center of human history has [this character], why not at least some of the peripheries?”
Contingency: Most of the scripture and most of Christology derived not from an abstract philosophical or speculative approach to truth, but from experiencing what God actually did in the world. In the same way that we know God best through experiencing what God has actually done, we should learn about the natural world primarily by empirical study.
Particularity: “Because God revealed himself most clearly in a particular set of circumstances and at a particular time and place, every other particular set of cultural circumstances takes on a fresh potential importance” The birth of Christ was a local event with universal learning. Other particular events merit serious study because they too can be broadly meaningful.
Self-denial: Academics can tend to become full of pride because of knowledge and staying humble in Christ is the key to self-denial.
Noll says, “if what we claim about Jesus Christ is true, then evangelicals should be among the most active, most serious, and most open-minded advocates of general human learning I agree with this statement. As part of my research what I’m seeing is that church leaders are quick to try and learn the newest technique to “grow” there church but need to learn how to grow people and that may take a lot more time and study outside of the closed mind of give me my bible and leave all other books on the shelf.
.” Mark Noll, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2011), 243.
 Ibid., 48.
 Ibid., 55.
.” Ibid., x