And he said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with the whole of your heart, and with the whole of your spirit, and with the whole of your mind. This is the great and first commandment. But a second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments rest the whole of the Law and the Prophets.-Matthew 22:37-40
In this double commandment, Jesus boils the Christian life down to loving God with our whole being and loving our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. Loving God and neighbor is not trivial. In the version told by Matthew, Jesus teaches that everything in the Law and the Prophets should be interpreted through this double love. The “Law and Prophets” is a shorthand way of referring to the Old Testament. In other words, all the Hebrew Scriptures preceding Jesus are trying to inculcate the love of God and neighbor in its hearers.
When Jesus mentions loving God, he emphasizes we are to love God with all of our being. He specifically mentions our hearts, spirits, minds, and strength.1 Whatever we do, the love of God should be our ultimate intention. Our heart, spirit, mind, and strength encompass every theater of our existence. Christianity necessarily involves loving God in all aspects of our lives. If we leave out any significant area, then we neglect the command of Jesus.
At College and Clayton Press, our primary focus is to facilitate the love of God with the mind. We seek to publish quality books and other media in the areas of church history, theology, and biblical studies. We want the majority of our products to be accessible to a wide audience. Serious and devoted Christian thinking should not be limited to seminary classrooms. While some of our products are academic in content and tone and may be used in a classroom, our end goal is not a sterile academic knowledge. Instead, we believe knowledge should feed into all areas of life. Christ compels us to honor God with our mind. His commandment makes learning an act of worship and devotion.
Long ago, Anselm of Canterbury wrote a few famous words on faith and understanding. They are often summarized in the Latin phrase fides quaerens intellectum (“faith seeking understanding”).
In the first chapter of his Proslogion, Anselm writes, “I do not try, Lord, to attain your lofty heights, because my understanding is in no way equal to it. But I do desire to understand Your truth a little, that truth that my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand.”2
You would already have to be studying history and theology to even know about Anselm. However, studying Anselm’s works should not end in objective knowledge that you hold at arm’s length. Anselm’s words should affect you, impact you, grip you, shake you. Anselm should influence your understanding of how the drive for knowledge arises out of faith and feeds back into devotion. These kinds of examples abound. Maybe Athanasius’s explanation of the incarnation makes sense to you. Perhaps John Calvin writes about the spiritual communion of the Lord’s Supper in a way that resonates. This knowledge is not dry. It affects our hearts in worship. Study contributes its part to the full-orbed expression of the love of God and love of neighbor that Jesus calls us to.
At College and Clayton Press we want to help you better love God with your mind by providing quality works dealing with Christian history, theology, and biblical studies.
1. Matthew leaves out strength, but the implications are the same. ↩
2. St. Anselm, Proslogion, trans. M.J. Charlesworth (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979), 115. Emphasis added.↩