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?