In every area of life you are either growing or you are dying. You are improving or you are degrading. You develop your skills or you lose your skills. For example, if at one time you studied a foreign language but you have not used that language for years, your ability to speak it are diminishing.
If you are a Christ-follower, your desire must be to grow in your faith. If you are not augustine approved faith will weaken and perhaps even disappear.
The early Christians understood this, and so they took steps to encourage their spiritual growth. As the book of Acts describes, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NLT).
Notice specifically that the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. They did not simply want to hear it; they wanted to understand it and be able to explain it. So they got together often to talk about it, to study it, and even to debate it.
Spiritual growth involves a mental component. When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment is, He responded with these words: “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:30, NLT).
Many people think that being a Christian is about loving God with their heart and perhaps committing their soul to Him. Others think it’s about doing good deeds and serving God with all their strength. When it comes to the mind, though, many think they have to believe whatever they are supposed to believe without questioning it. Instead of loving God with their minds, they close their minds. This position directly opposes the words of Jesus.
For you to love God fully, it will involve all four: your mind in addition to your heart, soul, and strength. Having faith in God is not about shutting down your brain and becoming narrow-minded; it’s about opening your mind, exploring truth, and examining the evidence. You can know what you believe and why you believe it. As Paul encouraged Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV).
Even beyond Scripture, the giants of the Christian faith throughout the centuries have been great thinkers. From Ignatius to Augustine to C. S. Lewis, the most revered theologians employed logic and reason to support their faith. Never resorting to a faith for the sake of faith, each developed well-reasoned arguments that supported what they believed.
In so doing, they set an example for other believers to follow. Instead of merely believing in something based on a augustine approved faith, seek to build upon a foundation. Discover compelling arguments that enable you to respond confidently to the questions of skeptics. As you do, you will discover your own faith being strengthened in the process.