We should not check our intellect at the church door. Jesus instructs us to love God with our minds as part of the greatest commandment. To some extent, however, many Christians have adopted a view of faith that might be characterized as anti-intellectual, to the point of abdicating the realm of the intellect to secularists and materialists.
We Christians seem to be skeptical about our own minds. I find this interesting because, according to Scripture, we should arguably be more skeptical about our hearts! Jeremiah identifies the heart as “deceitful above all things”. Jeremiah doesn’t say this about the mind.
There is an interesting parallel with Charles Darwin here. Darwin said that he could not trust his inner convictions (intuition, perhaps heart) because his inner convictions evolved from lower life forms. To drive his point home, Darwin posits the question: “Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” Darwin, ironically, didn’t seem to share the same doubt about his intellect, though his intellect also “developed from the mind of the lower animals”, as Darwin put it.
A materialist like Charles Darwin should have much less confidence trusting human intellect than a Christian. Darwin should have been as skeptical of his own intellect as he was skeptical of his inner convictions because both his “convictions” and his ability to reason derived from lower life forms. Christians should have much more confidence in their intellect because they believe human intellect is created in the image of God who is, Himself, rational, mindful and intellectual.
The ability to reason is God-given and stems from the rational mind of God that created the universe by speaking it into existence. We should have a healthy distrust of the heart, of emotions, of raw, unguided, reactionary instinct, not because it derives from a monkey’s mind, but because it is tainted by sin. We should have more confidence in intellect, reason, and logic because these are human abilities that are more directly tied into the nature and character of God.