The Dangers of Intellectualism

“I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craft, so your thoughts should be corrupted from simplicity as to the Christ” (2 Cor 11:3).

The tendency to hanker alter the elaborate, the obscure, the complicated, the far-fetched is always with us. The intellectual men of the world find the gospel far too simple, and they stumble at it. Believers, whose strong point is their intellect, always have a tendency in the same direction, unless they walk in the spirit of self-judgment as regards intellectualism. If they do not maintain self-judgment, all their elaborations, their deep and obscure thoughts, only eventually result in something that corrupts from simplicity as to the Christ.

The mind is a very important part of man, and Satan's acutest beguilements are aimed at it. It is far from being the whole of a man: his affections and his conscience have a very large place. The trouble is that the intellectual person is very apt to give a much larger place to his mind than Scripture gives to it. He forgets that God reveals His truth to us not for our intellectual enjoyment, but that it may command our hearts, appeal to our consciences, and govern our lives. Let that be properly realized, and we at once find plenty to occupy our spiritual energies in the profound simplicities of the truth, and any itching desire we ever had for mere complexities and novelties and obscurities forsakes us.

“Simplicity as to the Christ!” That is what we need. To know Him: to love Him, as united in heart to Him: to adore Him: to serve Him: that is it! If our minds are thus stayed upon Him in uncorrupted simplicity, all else will be added unto us. and we shall be maintained in the fervor of "first love.” Paul knew well that if Satan succeeded in his beguilings at this point, he would succeed all along the line.


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