“…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…”
The Apostle Paul, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
I have heard this passage quoted often to believers who are wrestling with their own, personal, “thought life”.
But Michael Craven, in his book, Uncompromised Faith (which I reviewed recently), proposes an alternate view on the concept of “taking thoughts captive”:
“This passage…is one we often misunderstand or misapply. The apostle Paul is urging Christians to engage in intellectual discourse and persuasive debate whenever they find themselves confronted by false ideas that contradict the biblical understanding of life and reality. This passage is not to be understood in purely individualistic or private terms related to taking our own thoughts captive; we need to understand the ideas and thoughts of others that keep them from the knowledge of the truth. Practically speaking this means we are to be actively engaged in pressing God’s truth into every aspect of life and the world.” (p.24)
This interpretation certainly seems more consistent with the context of the passage. What do you think? In what context have you heard this passage used, by others or yourself? Bible scholar friends, what’s your take?