Dear Clifton,

I assert that the Bible makes no distinction between heart knowledge and head knowledge. Many false religionists like to say that Arminians "have it wrong in their heads but have it right in their hearts." Or someone could accuse a Christian of having a "head knowledge of gospel doctrine without having heart knowledge." The fact is, according to the Bible, the heart is what thinks, plans, devises, imagines, etc. The heart includes the mind or the intellect, which many call the "head." Everyone who knows something knows it in his heart. What an unregenerate person knows, he knows in his heart. What a regenerate person knows, he knows in his heart.

Check out the following passages to see what the heart does: Genesis 6:5. Genesis 24:45. Genesis 27:41. Exodus 35:35. Exodus 36:2. Deuteronomy 15:9. 1 Kings 3:9. Psalm 14:1. Psalm 15:2. Psalm 49:3. Proverbs 14:10. Ecclesiastes 7:22. Isaiah 33:18. Matthew 13:15. Luke 2:19. Acts 8:22. Romans 10:9-10. Hebrews 4:12. These verses clearly show that the heart is what thinks, understands, knows, and believes, in both believers and unbelievers.

So to say that someone has a "head" knowledge with no "heart" knowledge is a false distinction. All knowledge comes from the intellect, which is included in the heart. True faith is a matter of the intellect, just as false faith is a matter of the intellect.

I'm willing to discuss this further if anyone has any questions or disagreements.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter

"Evil men do not understand justice, but those seeking Jehovah understand all." (Proverbs 28:5)

The whole "head vs. heart" dichotomy comes from romanticism. It comes in many forms, like "intellectual belief vs. saving belief." What is a saving belief but an intellectual belief? Certainly belief comes from the intellect, from the mind. A lot of religionists talk in terms of "head" versus "heart," as in: "He doesn't have it right in his head, but he has it right in his heart." Or: "He has a head knowledge, but he doesn't have a heart faith." (The same goes for people who talk about "mental assent" vs. "heart faith.") But this comes from romanticism, not Scripture. In Scripture, the heart is what thinks, what understands, what believes. So if someone is not truly a Christian, then he doesn't truly believe the truth. It's not that he believes it in his head (has "head knowledge"); it's that he doesn't really believe it. He may tell himself and others that he believes it, but he doesn't really believe it.

Here's the kind of heresy that comes from the "head-heart" distinction:

"If my theology is correct and my intellectual understanding of Christianity is correct, but my heart is removed from Christ, I'm outside the kingdom of God. If my heart is in love with Christ, but my theology is messed up, I'm in the kingdom of God. So the heart is more important than the mind..."

R.C. Sproul, That's a Good Question. Tyndale House Publishers. p. 236.

Sproul is saying that one can have his "theology messed up," but as long as his "heart is in love with Christ," he's saved. So he can be messed up about who Christ is and what He did, but as long as his "heart" loves this Christ (about whom he is messed up, whom he doesn't understand), he's saved. What about the person who thinks Christ is a dog? As long as his "heart is in love with Christ," whom he thinks is a dog, he is saved?? After all, his "theology is just messed up." He just doesn't understand the doctrine of the person of Christ, that's all. I the Jehovah's Witnesses are in the kingdom of God, according to Sproul - they don't have an "intellectual understanding" of Christ, but their "heart is in love with Christ." What demonic hogwash.


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