Note: the book is currently only available in Dutch, but the below description gives you a good indication of its content.
Original title: Dat had je niet gedacht – Vriendschap met God in de Westerse Wereld
In the book Your thoughts are higher - Friendship with God in the western world, the author works out what it means to love with your mind. In a general sense and in particular with regard to God. It is a product of twenty years of deliberation, ups and downs, and many early mornings and late evenings.
In the timeline you’ll find that God is working on an eternal covenant of love. He wants to build a close relationship with people like you and me. A friendship. But friendship only works when it comes from both sides. That's where it starts to get troubling. In the western world we always want to control our own agenda’s. We follow our own mind and wishes, whether it be life questions, future plans, or scientific efforts. The Creator is only allowed to interact with us as far as this does not conflict with our own life’s design. On a large scale, this one-way-traffic has caused the contact between God and westerns to get obscured. Can true friendship with God still flourish on this Western soil?
The human mind plays a crucial role in the relationship between God and His people. Since the start of human history, it has either been a jammer, or a beautiful instrument. It is striking that the Bible speaks in an ambiguous way about the power of human thinking. On the one hand with great appreciation and trust, on the other hand with clear reserves. How is this strange combination to be understood? It raises a question. For what purpose did God design our mind?
The author reflects on our thought processes and shows that love provides the golden mean. The two key-characteristics of love, the desire to do just and the willingness to make costs, reflect in every healthy thought process. Healthy here means to have undivided attention, to think through one thing at a time. Only when you use your mind in this way it works optimal and gives the best results.
The dialogical principal (…=…) forms the core of every reflective process. It shows judgment is not a one-way traffic, but an integration process of something new into the framework you already have. You have to reserve time and efforts to integrate something. Only via that route you start to know your subject. Love therefore provides the perfect balance in the appreciation and limitations of what the human mind can achieve. No overestimating, no relativism. Our mind is made not to control, but to live in relationships with the Creator, our fellowman and everything we encounter in live. It is designed as a valuable instrument in Gods everlasting covenant of love. What does this all mean if you are wrestling with a tough life question today, if you make plans for the future, or work on a scientific issue? In the closing section of the book the author clarifies what it means to love God with all your mind with many examples and practical implications.
Your thoughts are higher has a particular section on science. During the modernity, science and Christian faith came at odds. The cards seem to be shuffled. 'Science' tells us how life really works, and 'faith' relates to your personal experience. The author shows why this is based on a misrepresentation of our cognitive power. To clarify this the book zooms in on the mathematical character of our mind, it follows the course of a thought process and works out a clear definition of science. Science can be defined as the social and systematic search for coherence in data. Is it rational to be a scientist on a Christian basis? It most certainly is! You will see that science combined with the Bible is not only possible, but even produces unexpectedly powerful results. After all, God has given us a mind to understand His world!
I hope the book helps postmodern men and women to open the door of their heart to God, our most loving Creator. It’s written in both an emphatic and challenging style. Often we demand answers from God. What about the other way? Can the Creator of heaven and earth sometimes intervene to say something, renew our mind or pose an important question? Even at those times when not all of our questions and problems have been solved yet? Is it a two-way street, at all times? Only then the friendship with God can start to grow.
Peter Groot is married for over twenty years, father of five children and works as a business controller for an international business services company in Amsterdam. He studied theology and philosophy and has been researching the relevance of the Bible to the postmodern culture in which we live for many years. His passion is to show that friendship between God and His people is invaluable and much more interesting than following a self-invented life. On this website, he gives visitors a glimpse into world history through the lens of the Bible.