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The Principle of Authority

For Christianity, it's submit and obey.

The Christian Mind

“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” John 17.15, 16

The Christian Mind
Harry Blamires (1916-)
“In the context of the wholesale, and not unjustified, denigration of authority by the secular mind, one has to reassert Christianly the principle of authority. First, God’s authority; then the authority of his revelation, his commandments, and his Church. And here, right at the start, one encounters a new difficulty. For the task of re-establishing the notion of God’s authority is obstructed not only by the current depreciation of authority itself but also by a false, pre-established picture of God – found even within the Church.”

Harry Blamires turns to the third characteristic of the Christian mind, its acceptance of authority. Here we have a lot of work to do, as authority has become a kind of 9-letter 4-letter word in our day. We don’t want anyone telling us what to do. We are the masters of our fates; we are the captains of our souls! Even more than when Harry Blamires was writing this book 50 years ago, people don’t want to have anything to do with those who think they wield some authority. Of course, much of this is posturing; we know we need to have authorities to keep order and allow society to flourish. We just don’t want too much authority, and certainly not any authorities we don’t agree with. Which is where the Bible and the Church come in – two authorities which are routinely challenged and rejected in our day, but which are vital if we are to know the truth and grow in it. We must begin with ourselves. Do we acknowledge the authority of God and His Word to sanctify us according to His requirements and expectations? And do we submit to the authority of His Word in all aspects of our lives? Until these are true in our lives, it will do no good trying to persuade anyone else.

What is your approach to submitting to Scripture in every area of your life? All your thoughts and affections, words and deeds? How can you tell when you’re not in submission to the authority of God in these areas?

Renewing the Mind
We are currently running a multi-part series on Renewing the Mind in our daily ReVision series. The sixth installment is entitled, The Mind of Christ in His World: Part 1, and is available as a free PDF download by going to the website,, clicking on today’s ReVision column entitled, “Speaking Everywhere” and clicking the link at the end. I urge you to follow this entire series, and to consider using it with your leaders. If you are not subscribed to ReVision, you can do so at the website. Or you can download each week’s PDF study in a format suitable for group or personal use.

Thinking for a Christian Worldview
Christian thinkers have a Christian worldview. Our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, uses twelve diagrams to provide a comprehensive framework for thinking and living Christianly in the world. It’s free, online, and available for you to study by yourself or with your leadership team, at your own pace and on your own schedule. For more information and to register, click here.

The Fellowship of Ailbe is supported through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from
The Christian Mind are from Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind (Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1963, 1978).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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