Throughout the Bible, God calls for people to respond to Him by thinking. Very often when He gives a command, He simultaneously instructs the people to think about, to consider, or to remember something. Granted, there are times when God simply issues a command. He is under no obligation to give reasons. However, the Bible is replete with examples where God essentially says, "I am not asking you for blind allegience. Haven't you thought about.." or "You need to remember..." He doesn't say, "Turn your brain off and follow me." Nor does he say, "Just follow your heart [and vote for Pedro]." I won't give anything close to an exhaustive list here, because that would be very tedious, but here are just a few examples to make my general point. The God of the Bible calls people to follow him, not by shutting off their brains and denying reality, but by using their brains and thinking about the way things really are.*
With the command to obey the Law - Deuteronomy 5:15, 8:2 "Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm." "Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands."
With the command to be strong and courageous in taking the land - Joshua 1:13 "Remember the command that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you after he said, ‘The LORD your God will give you rest by giving you this land.'"
With the command to worship the glory of God - 1 Chronicles 16:12 "Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,"
With the two greatest commandments - Luke 10:27 "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
With the command not to worry about food - Luke 12:14 "Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!"
With the command not to worry about what you will wear - Luke 12:27 "Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."
With the command to put to death the desires of the flesh - Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."
You see, the God of the Bible, (although He is not obligated to), loves to give reasons for people to trust, follow, worship, and love Him. If we are anxious, if we aren't obeying His commandments, if we aren't loving Him and others, if we aren't worshiping Him--there is a certain level at which we aren't thinking straight. That is why Paul tells the Romans to "be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2). The biblical mandate is not to close the mind and follow blindly, or to expect some warm feeling inside to overcome a plethora of logical and scientific contradictions, but to reflect on what God has actually done as a matter of fact in history. In our epoch of time, that means, first and foremost, to consider the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul tells the Corinthians that Christianity rests on the historical fact of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Paul is not advocating some sort of "I don't care if it happened or not, I just believe it" religion. Over and over again he presents the truth of the Gospel and then says "in light of this..." or "therefore..." He stakes everything on it as a reality altering, paradigm shifting, life changing sort of fact.
One final thought. I have a friend who works for a local fire department in a rough part of Atlanta. He has told me on more than one occasion that he simply has to block a lot out of his mind in order to cope with all of the horrible things he has seen. He candidly admits that there is no natural mechanism to find peace except to determine, "I just won't think about it." The truth is that real peace comes, not from thinking less, but from thinking more! It just means thinking about the right things--"whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things" (Philippians 4:8). As the Psalmist says, "Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long" (Psalm 119:97). Above all else, thinking about the right things means "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).
*I anticipate that someone will likely say, "The skeptic isn't saying that Christians don't think AT ALL, just that they don't think about what is REAL. They only think about fairy tales and other nonsense. All you have done is preach a nice sermon." Fair enough. But at that point, I actually think the burden of proof is on the skeptic who is essentially saying, "My view of reality is better than yours. If you don't think like me, then you are not thinking." That would need to be demonstrated. But that is a whole other post. In this post, I simply wanted to respond to the common assertion that "Religious people don't think." That statement, on it's face, is totally incompatible with historic Christianity.