Fit Bodies, Fat Minds: Discussion Questions

Fit Bodies, Fat Minds

By Os Guinness

 

Chapter 1 – Polarization

·      What are the dangers of having a good mind and a cold heart?

·      What are the dangers of having a “empty brains and a happy heart”?

·      What practical steps can we take to both educate our minds and warm our hearts?

 

Chapter 2 – Pietism

·      What is pietism?

·      In what ways does pietism promote clear thinking?

·      In what ways can pietism lead to anti-intellectualism?

 

Chapter 3 – Primitivism

·      Honestly, I can’t make heads or tails of this chapter.  “Primitivism… is the impulse to restore the primitive or original order of life as revealed in the Scriptures.” So it is a desire to return to historical firsts but it has also “contributed to the evangelical bias against history”?

 

Chapter 4 – Populism

·      What do you find attractive about the statement, “No creed but the Bible”? What do you find inconsistent about it?

·      How has populism affected your ability to think hard about theology and truth?

·      Do you find any value in an educated church leadership?  What are the dangers of education in the pulpit?

 

Chapter 5 – Pluralism

·      How are pluralism and religious liberty related?

·      How are pluralism and relativism related?

·      What does he means when he says that America is full of “behavers” and not “believers"?

 

Chapter 6 – Pragmatism

·      What does Guinness mean by “the subtlety of pragmatism’s similarity to faith” (p.55)?

·      What are the similarities between Arminianism and “self-help theology”?

·      What do you think about church growth and evangelism “via the proper means”?  How tempting is it to be a part of something like that?

 

Chapter 7 – Philistinism

·      Why does theological laxness lead to a laxness in culture? Why does a robust theology lead to a robust culture?

·      What are the upsides and downsides of a “Philistinism”?

·      Is it OK to concentrate “on the issues of salvation at the expense of those of creation”?

 

Chapter 8 – Premillenialism

·      Why is the study of eschatology important?  What are the dangers of studying it too much?

·      Why is it tempting to make the study of eschatology more important than the Scriptures do themselves?

·      Can you think of some negative examples of the “this is that” fallacy that turned out to be premature?

·      What does he mean when he refers to the arenas of science, history and tradition as intellectual habits dispensationalists used to reinforce anti-intellectualism?

 

Chapter 9 – Amusing Ourselves to Death

·      How has television changed Christian thinking and Christian worship? In what ways has it helped? In what ways has it hindered?

 

Chapter 10 – People of Plenty

·      How is modern advertising at odds with the preaching of the Gospel?

·      Should we advertise our church? If so, how?

 

Chapter 11 – All Consuming Images

·      Style is difficult. Everybody follows some style.  But how has the modern obsession with style damaged our ability to think? Can’t we be both stylish and good thinkers?

·      Do you think “style” communicates something in and of itself?

 

Chapter 12 – The Humiliation of the Word

·      Why is “hearing” so important in the Scriptures as opposed to seeing?

·      How can we as a church protect our need to hear words as opposed to see pictures while at the same time utilize pictures/images in a healthy way?

 

Chapter 13 – Cannibals of PoMo

·      What are the positives and negatives of modernism? Of postmodernism?

·      How does postmodernism challenge the Lordship of Christ?

 

Chapter 14 – Tabloid Truth

·      How has modern technology changed how we receive and understand the daily news? How has this impacted the way we think?

·      Why is it so easy to build a following of people by preaching “against” things than it is to build a church that is “for” Christ?

 

Chapter 15 – Generation Hex

·      How has an undue emphasis on generations affected our ability to think?

·      What does the older generation desire from the younger generation? What does the younger generation desire from the older generation?

·      What can we as a church do to think well as a multi-generational congregation?

 

Chapter 16 – Real, Reel, or Virtually Real?

·      Since this chapter was written, social media has become a dominant force in our culture. What are the positives and negatives of social media?

 

Let My People Think

·      Which of Guinness’s suggestions on developing an “evangelical mind” did you find most compelling?

·      Do you have any other suggestions on what contemporary believers can do to learn to thin better?