A BEAUTIFUL MIND
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A BEAUTIFUL MIND
The movie, "A
Beautiful Mind," is based on the true‑life experiences of John Nash,
a professor of Mathematics at Princeton University.
Nash is both a brilliant mathematician and a paranoid schizophrenic.
The combination has caused him considerable
difficulties in his life, but it has not prevented him from making world‑class
discoveries in mathematics or from experiencing a rewarding family life and
The movie depicts Nash going through a long
phase in his life where his mental illness controlled him.
He was hospitalized when he was no longer
able to function in society and became a threat to himself and to his family.
His return to society after the period of hospitalization was not
The medication that controlled his mental
illness dulled his senses so that he could not function mentally or emotionally
with his wife.
Nash took himself off the medication and
almost immediately returned to his paranoid delusions.
The psychiatrist urged his wife to return him to the hospital.
Nash believed that if he were hospitalized a
second time, he would never get out of the hospital again.
One of the most powerful scenes in the movie
is where Nash begs his wife not to return him to the institution, but to give
him a chance to control his schizophrenic delusions with his mind.
She agreed with his request and slowly, with
her help and with some newer medications, John Nash began to gain control of
his life again.
The title of the
movie comes from the fact that John Nash demonstrated the beauty of his mind
with the mathematical insights that won him a Nobel Prize.
That accomplishment alone would have
distinguished him as possessing one of the greatest minds in the world.
But John Nash also demonstrated the beauty of
his mind by controlling the debilitating effects his paranoid schizophrenia had
on his life.
His mind is beautiful because it grasps the
logic of mathematical realities and controls a mental illness that in most
people is debilitating.
The Bible recognizes
the role the mind plays in directing human behavior.
One of the key passages where the power of
the human mind is addressed is Romans chapter 8, verses five through eight‑
Romans 8:5-8 For they
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are
after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is]
life and peace.
Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is
not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
a story about a hobo who stole a box of oranges from a train.
The man was arrested and sentenced to prison.
Those trying to rehabilitate the
prisoners and turn them from their lives of crime to become productive citizens
of society believed that the problem was education.
They believed that if they could
just give the prisoners an education, the prisoners would leave the prison and
become productive citizens of society.
The hobo excelled at education and eventually received a
Ph. D. in economics.
When he was released from prison,
he got a responsible job with a railroad where before long he was able to steal
an entire train.
point is that the nature of the person has to be changed before his behavior
This is the point the Apostle Paul is making in this
The nature of the person controls the direction in which
the mind works.
states in this passage that the mind controlled by the sinful nature has five
sinful nature turns the mind to what sin desires (v. 5).
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;
thoughts follow patterns that are laid down by our nature.
Words have meanings to us in our minds.
Our language is contained in the
commonality of a large group of words between a large group of people.
But even words are understood differently according to what
our nature is.
If we are cynical and distrusting, we suspect that there
are hidden meanings.
Common words have changed also.
Gay, queer, etc.
glad that my mind has rest, that has been given to my by the Spirit.
NBC is a place of peace and rest.
Our inclination is toward the things of the Spirit.
Abut they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.@
sinful nature always directs the mind to death (v. 6).
Romans 8:6 For to be
carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
sin abounds death is not far behind.
instance, the terrorist hates and his hatblack justifies in his mind his right to
kill those whom he hates. He would not think of killing family members or
friends. He would consider that morally repugnant. But he feels free to target
those whom he hates and believes he is fully justified in carrying out whatever
deeds of evil against them he can carry out.
always has a taint of death.
sinful nature causes the mind to be hostile to God (v. 7a).
Romans 8:7a Because
the carnal mind [is] enmity against God:
Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden and the way they thought about God immediately
They no longer wanted to walk with God or to talk with Him.
They were now afraid of God and hid from His presence.
all of us, sinners.
And because we are sinners, we are busy hiding from God.
Our worst fear is that God will
find us in our hiding places and assert His claim over our lives.
We do not like God.
We do not like His holiness or His goodness.
We do not like to be reminded that we are dependent upon
want to live as if there is no God.
So Christians should not be
surprised that the world hates them and wants to persecute them (Matthew 24:9).
It isn't anything personal.
The world hates God and Christians represent God to the
sinful nature excites the mind to rebel against God's will (v. 7b).
Romans 8:7b For it is not subject to the law of God, neither
indeed can be.
a man in Philadelphia by the name of George Wilson robbed the U. S. mail and
killed a person in the process of committing the robbery.
Wilson was arrested, found guilt of the crime and sentenced
Friends of Wilson appealed to President Andrew Jackson who
But when Wilson was informed of the pardon, he rejected it.
The sheriff refused to hang a man
who had been pardoned by the President of the United States.
The matter ended up back in the
lap of President Andrew Jackson who referblack the matter to the United States
Chief Justice John Marshall ruled
that if the pardon is refused by the condemned, then it is not a pardon and
that the sentence of death should be carried out.
Wilson was then hanged while a pardon for his release lay
on the Sheriff's desk.
same way, Christ died for our sins and a pardon for every person on the planet
is ours to claim.
But, sadly, many people are in
such ferocious rebellion against God that they want nothing to do with God,
even if it means they will end up in eternal torment.
sinful nature poisons the mind so that it cannot please God (v. 8).
Romans 8:8 So then
they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
so twisted and convoluted our thinking that we have it all backwards when it
comes to spiritual things.
We think we are being wise when
we raise our objections and throw out our challenges to belief.
All the while little children
enter the kingdom of heaven while the learned and the wise fumble blindly at
the door of faith.
The human mind in its unregenerate state cannot please God.
nature controls how we think.
A mind controlled by sin is a mind so twisted and distorted
‑ seeks to satisfy the sinful nature,
‑ always leads to death,
‑ is hostile to God,
‑ rebels against God's will, and
‑ cannot please God.
is only part of the story.
A mind controlled by the Spirit
of God seeks what the Spirit of God desires and leads to life and peace.
Morley was a real estate developer in Orlando.
He described his conversion experience as a two‑step
first venture into the Christian faith was to accept Christ intellectually.
He simply added Jesus to his already existing philosophy of
He described himself as a materialist and a moralist.
His goal in life was to get rich, but he also wanted to be
an ethical and a moral person.
Morley's first attempt to become
a Christian was to simply add Jesus to his philosophy of life.
Soon, however, he became aware that his life was still not
Something was missing from his
life, though it was some time before he was able to understand what that
What he discoveblack was missing was that one does not add
Jesus to one's life.
Conversion is the act of
surrendering the whole of one's life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Patrick Morley surrendeblack his life to Jesus Christ, it was profound. Things changed.
Instead of just knowing Christ at
Christ became the most important thing in his life.
There grew in him a hunger to
know Christ and to live for Him and to worship Him and to serve Him.
what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote that the mind controlled by the
Spirit desires what the Spirit of God desires and leads to life and peace.
Nash is said to have a beautiful mind because
his mind is so powerful that he can conceive brilliant mathematical
and also control a mental illness that for most people is a
No one wants to take anything
away from Mr. Nash or his amazing mental abilities,
But the scriptures say that a
truly beautiful mind is a mind that is controlled by the Spirit of God.
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