Item description for Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by James W. Sire...
Overview Are Christians called to the intellectual life? Arguing that Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived, Sire explores the moral and spiritual dimension of the mind and encourages you to develop intellectual disciplines and virtues that will further God's kingdom. For thoughtful Christians who want to love God with their heart, soul, and mind.
Publishers Description A 2001 Christianity Today Book of the Year What is an intellectual? How can you learn to think well? What does it mean to love God with your mind? Can the intellectual life be a legitimate Christian calling? Is the intellectual life your calling? James Sire brings wit and wisdom to bear on these questions and their possible answers. And he offers an unusual "insider's view" of learning how to think well for the glory of God and for the sake of his kingdom. InHabits of the Mind Sire challenges you to avoid one of the greatest pitfalls of intellectual life--by resisting the temptation to separate being from knowing. He shows you how to cultivate intellectual virtues and disciplines--habits of mind--that will strengthen you in pursuit of your calling. And he offers assurance that intellectual life can be a true calling for Christians: because Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived, Sire argues, you can and should accept the challenge to think as well as you are able.
Awards and Recognitions Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by James W. Sire has received the following awards and recognitions -
Christianity Today Book Award - 2001 Winner - Christianity & Culture category
Citations And Professional Reviews Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling by James W. Sire has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 08/09/2000
Christian Retailing - 08/19/2000 page 20
Christian Retailing - 09/05/2000 page 84
Library Journal - 08/01/2000 page 114
Booklist - 09/01/2000 page 36
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Born on a ranch on the rim of the Nebraska Sandhills, James W. Sire has been an officer in the Army, a college professor of English literature, philosophy and theology, the chief editor of InterVarsity Press (a Christian publisher of books for thoughtful readers), a lecturer at over two hundred universities in the U.S., Canada, Eastern and Western Europe and Asia, and the author of twenty books on literature, philosophy and the Christian faith. His book The Universe Next Door, published in 1976 and now in its fifth edition, has sold over 350,000 copies and has been translated into 18 foreign languages. He holds a B.A. in chemistry and English from the University of Nebraska, an M.A. in English from Washington State College (now University) and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri. His most recent book is a memoir, The Rim of the Sandhills (eBook on Kindle and Nook).
Reviews - What do customers think about Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling?
Thinking About Thinking Nov 20, 2007
James W. Sire believes that all followers of Christ are called to use their minds in disciplined, responsible ways, to the best of their abilities, for the glory of God. There's a novel thought, huh? This is part of the fulfillment of Jesus' command to love God with heart, soul, mind and strength.
In Habits of the Mind, Sire gives a challenge to this intellectual calling--even for those who will never become academics or professional intellectuals--as well as some interesting reasoning for it. This is an important book because of the long history of anti-intellectualism that has been and continues to be a part of Evangelical Christianity. Sire also provides some specific ways that we can exercise and develop our intellectual capacities.
This is an excellent book. I've read several of Sire's other works and I found this one to be his most personal, most challenging, and most interesting.
His instructions on reading, particularly, lectio divina, were helpful to me and chapters six and seven on "The Intellectual Virtues" and "The Intellectual Disciplines", were of great value.
Sire described how an intellectual works with ideas in a wonderful way. He speaks of taking ideas and "clarifying them, developing them, criticizing them, turning them over and over, seeing their implications, stacking them atop one another, arranging them, sitting silent while new ideas pop up and old ones seem to rearrange themselves, playing with them, punning with their terminology, laughing at them, watching them clash, picking up the pieces, starting over . . ." and he continues on. That's a cool way to think about thinking, don't you think?
I'll take your silence to be a "yes".
Do you want to learn to think better? This book will help.
"Christian Intellectual" is NOT an oxymorn Oct 8, 2006
Jesus called on his followers to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your MIND," and Sire has provided an excellent guide for all who seek to follow Christ's advice. His presentation proves that rational, intelligent thought is not in contradiction with evangelical or conservative Christianity and provides an excellent resource for all who wish to learn how to " think well for the glory of God and for the sake of his kingdom."
Ok, but not spiritual May 2, 2006
I read about two thirds of this book before I realized it wasn't going to get any better. There are much better books out there than this one. Honestly, the author tends to ramble needlessly, and often about very straightforward concepts, like having a God-pleasing thought life. Clearly that's a good thing to want to have, but reading this book did nothing practical to help me have a more God-pleasing thought life, it just stated a lot of reasons why I should want that. BOTTOM LINE: This book is ok but not spiritual, and not particularly insightful.
Intellectual life is a legitimate Christian calling Feb 18, 2006
This book discusses the life of an intellectual as a legitimate Christian calling. The immediate question, of course, is "what is an intellectual?": Sire answers this question very well and in many ways. He also contrast the difference between merely being intelligent with being an intellectual. Interestingly, Sire argues in one chapter that Jesus was the most INTELLIGENT person who ever lived. Throughout the book Sire takes a position that argues all Christians have been called to be intellectuals to the best of thier God-given abilities. There are two less appealling aspects of the work: First, Sire spends too much time discussing the life and works of John Henry Newman - it almost seems like a biography in some areas. Second, Sire's arguement that all Christians are called to think to the best of thier abilities is great but he fails to really drive home the notion that God has graced some people to think much better than average and that these individuals are often called by God into the intellectual life as professors, theologians, authors, etc. That is to say, that there are some people who have been called to be intellectuals in the same way some people have been called to be pastors, singers, etc.
Please, Please, PLEASE Read This Book!!! Jul 16, 2004
If I could give this book 10 out of 5 stars I'd do it! I'm going to keep this short, because I could easily overdo it on this book. Suffice it to say that if I could force everyone in Christendom to read just one book in there whole lives it would be this book. If I had Bill Gates' money I would by millions of copies of this book and send one to every pastor, Priest, and parishioner in the English-speaking world. Then I'd have it translated into every known tongue and have them sent overseas. I simply don't recommend books with any greater enthusiasm. I only had one person every not like this book and he was a cocky grad student who went into it thinking he was reading analytic philosophy - duh! The book is called Habit's of the *Mind* but it aims at the *heart*. People usually don't form good *mental* habits until they get a *passion* for the Truth. Sire also draws on current research in virtue epistemology (don't worry about the terms) to show that or *character* can help or hinder us in the search for Truth as much as our IQ's. The book is chock-a-block full of great quotations. It is written for the unsophisticated but can be appreciated by anyone. I'm a philosophy instructor at a large research university and I love this book for its inspirational character. I just can't say enough good things about this book. Read it and start thinking rightly today!