Loving God is often seen as something we do with our hearts. Our minds are only used to determine and affirm right ideas of belief. However, such a perspective limits both faith and our intellects.
In a recent post, “Hallowed be they Name in research” on Faith in Scholarship, Xia Zhu illustrates how participating in a graduate student group challenged her ideas of what was Christian and secular.
“As much as I enjoyed my PhD – the satisfaction of solving problems and finding reasons behind a phenomenon – I have to confess that I spent much of my time and energy in church-related activities (Bible study groups, sermon translation, theology classes, etc.). . . . PhD and research (as well as other non-church areas), were somehow – I’m not sure when – labelled as ‘secular’, ‘second class’, and not surprisingly ‘of secondary importance’ in my life. That’s until I met a group of researchers in the Postgraduate Christian Forum (PCF). My first PCF meeting was rather disturbing, as it made it very clear that this group was not about evangelism. This challenged my restricted mindset of gospel sharing, changing people’s hearts and deepening our faith in Christ. This group was grappling with the theme of God’s purpose in each research discipline – and I continued attending.
The wrestling process has been rather rewarding: it has . . . helped me to rediscover God’s purpose and value in research and to re-examine what is ‘secular’. PhD work is not merely satisfying intellectual activity by solving problems; Research is not an instrumental tool for gaining academic recognition and career progression. It is thinking God’s thoughts after Him and truly acknowledging that He is the lord of all (including research!).”