Felt needs and anti-intellectualism

Today’s Church are basing preaching on felt needs. This helpful to an extent but it is lacking and inadequate. Here are some reasons why:

1. It does reach out to people who are out of touch with their feelings. (Some Men for example.) This is one reason why church are crowded with women right now and lacking in men. But there is a place for men in the Gospel.

2. It invites an easy out response to the Gospel, “Sorry, I don’t have a need at this time.” People never responded to Paul this way. He did not preach felt needs, instead he based teaching on the fact of the Gospel which is reasonably and true to believe. He reasoned with people intelligently in order to persuade them to believe in Christ Jesus. Everybody has a need for a true and reasonable Gospel.

This felt needs Gospel let’s people off the hook, leaving them saying, “Well that is fine for you, if that works for you” And it is leading society to a relativistic mindset.

I can relate to the ideas of JP Moreland. I graduated with my B.A. in psychology. I wanted to help people. But as I learned about psychology, I was turned away by how humanistic and secular the ideas were. All of it was about felt needs and telling people what they wanted to hear. I knew there was something more. The answers, most of the time, was not in emotions, but in the Word of God and in a deeper study of the Word with the mind.

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anti-intellectualism in the church

In the book, Love Your God With All Your Mind, J.P. Moreland writes that the growing anti-intellectualism in the church has resulted in the marginalization of Christianity in society and the emergence of the most secular culture the world has ever seen. The real problem for us shows up when tough times hit and our house-of-cards belief system tumbles down because we’re used to “putting our hands together” but not our heads.

Some theories why this is happening:

Christians are reading less, in general. Busy doing life. More time on internet. More time pursuing selfish ambitions.

One of the main reasons. Christians are reading less Bible! Without the Bible, Christians are not loving God with all their mind. They are not able to be ready at any moment to give a defense in what they believe.

The average reading level in America and the church is general is going down.

What do you think?