News Articles

Hunt returns to ‘The Mind of Christ’

RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP)–As he sat in the front row of an empty Spilman Auditorium, T.W. Hunt took a deep breath and sighed as he pondered the question. His wife Laverne, sitting next to him, also had a puzzled look on her face.

The query: When was the last time he taught “The Mind of Christ,” his popular Bible study released in July 1994?

Hunt and his wife figured it had been about 10 years since he formally taught The Mind of Christ, an acclaimed study of Jesus and His personhood based on the scriptural command in Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

“I think everybody’s heard it. I didn’t want to do it here,” Hunt said during LifeWay Christian Resources’ National Evangelism and Discipleship Conference at its Ridgecrest, N.C., conference center in July. “I told Jay [Johnston, LifeWay’s director of evangelism and discipleship], ‘I have a brand-new one called ‘How to See the Unseen’ and I wanted to teach something different.”

But he acquiesced when Johnston responded, as Hunt put it, that “there are a lot of people who haven’t heard it or need to re-hear it.”

Hunt and Claude King, LifeWay’s editor in chief of leadership and adult publishing, developed the study, encompassing 12 weekly group sessions to understand from Scripture how Jesus’ mind worked and how the Holy Spirit can transform people into the image of Christ by teaching them to think as He did.

At Ridgecrest, Hunt condensed it into four sessions.

“There are 54 Scripture passages that speak about each member of the Trinity,” Hunt recounted. “Each passage points to the other member of Trinity. Prior to all creation, the Godhead decided what would reveal His intentions for humans and, at the same time, take care of redemption. The Father is the executor of the Trinity, the giver. He gave us the Son and the Spirit. This is very confusing to the human mind. We don’t understand whether He is spirit or is He flesh? We could not understand if the Spirit became flesh.

“So what does that leave? I’m not a preacher. I’m just an ordinary layman, but in 1970 I began praying, ‘Lord, how can a mortal, a finite human being, have the mind of Christ? I prayed that for two years. I wanted it so desperately.”

After adopting a practice of memorizing Scripture, Hunt’s faithfulness was rewarded in August 1972.

“Suddenly insights started flooding in because I was the one praying,” Hunt said. “I had many, many notebooks full of my prayers. I wrote everything down. I wanted it so desperately.”

Hunt, then a music and missions professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (1963-87), started getting invitations to teach The Mind of Christ as well as the subject of prayer. He recounted being bewildered by this happening. But his prayers were answered once again.

“In November of 1972, I was reading Hebrews 2:12 (‘I will proclaim your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise’) and it was like a lightning bolt,” he said. “The Lord was telling me He did give it for me, but He also gave it to the larger body of Christ. And, yes, I should accept these invitations and I should go and teach.”

In 1987, the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay) asked Hunt to be their consultant for prayer and soon asked him to write The Mind of Christ. Hunt hesitated for a couple of years before feeling God’s release to begin writing.

Hunt, now in his late 70s, said he enjoyed speaking at this summer’s evangelism and discipleship week at Ridgecrest and still enjoys encouraging people to meditate on the Bible.

“It felt wonderful to teach it,” Hunt said.

Amid future conference engagements, Hunt said he has another project he feels God is telling him to do — a history of prayer in the Bible. In 1983, Hunt took 945 prayers and lessons on prayer from the Bible and transcribed them to his computer.

“I know it will take a long time and I write very, very carefully and very, very slowly. I finished Genesis and all I lack is 65 books,” Hunt said of his new discipleship venture.
Jerry Higgins is a freelance writer in Raleigh, N.C.

    About the Author

  • Jerry Higgins