Christian Apologetic
line decor
space
line decor

space


 6. BASIS OF CHRISTIAN BELIEFS

Are Christians supposed to think about the basis for their beliefs? This question can be answered "yes" with certainty. Christian beliefs are generally products of:

  • Blind faith in a learned person (authority figure)

  • Hegelian synthesis based on feelings, intuition, and emotions

  • Classical logic based on the evidence of Scripture, tradition and personal experience

Which are acceptable; which are not?

If the dentist informs you that one of your fillings is cracked and you allow him to replace it even though you don't have a toothache, then your belief in his truthfulness is based on blind faith in a learned person. In our complex technological society, we must base some decisions on blind faith because we can't become experts on everything. However, we don't generally use blind faith as a basis for our beliefs if a mistake could be life threatening or financially ruinous. When a false belief can have grave consequences for ourselves or our loved ones, we may consult available experts or "learned persons" but, ultimately, we weigh the evidence ourselves and personally make a decision about what is true or what represents the best course of action. Consider, for a moment, the interesting possibility that you, as a person, may continue to exist after the death of your physical body. Consider the additional possibility that this existence may be either meaningful or meaningless depending on what's in your heart when you die. Given these premises, a false belief about what should be in your heart will have grave consequences. If you deal with this possibility like you deal with other important issues, you will not blindly accept the opinion of a learned person. You might consult a parent, teacher, pastor, priest, rabbi, mulla or guru but, ultimately, you will personally weigh the evidence and personally make a decision. Blind faith in a learned person is not an acceptable basis for any religious belief because the stakes are too high.

Hegelian synthesis based on feelings, intuition and emotions is equally unacceptable as a basis for Christian beliefs because a very basic Christian belief is that the human heart is too deceitful to be trusted (Gen 6:5; Ps 14:1; Prov 12:15, 14:12, 20:9; Isa 32:6; Jer 17:9; Mat 15:19; Mark 7:21; John 5:42; Acts 28:27). The Bible never encourages us to trust the human heart.

What about classical logic based on the evidence of Scripture, tradition and personal experience? Some believe the Bible teaches us to replace reason with blind faith. In truth, the Bible encourages us, from cover to cover, to analyze the evidence using classical logic! The following examples will illustrate this point:

 

Deuteronomy 18:21-22
We are encouraged to use classical logic to distinguish between a false prophet and a prophet of God. "If a prophet makes one mistake then the prophet is not getting his or her information from God" or, what is the same thing, "If a prophet is of God then the prophet always speaks the truth."

 

Isaiah 1:18
We are told God wants to reason with us.

 

Hosea 4:6
We are informed that we can be destroyed by lack of knowledge.

 

Luke 7:19-23
John the Baptist sends two of his followers to Jesus with the following question, "Are you the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?" Instead of saying, "Yes, I am the one whom you have awaited," Jesus performs miracles in full view of John's followers. After a while, Jesus sends the followers back to John with information obtained by first hand observation. Jesus says for them to tell John what they've seen so he can deduce the answer based on the evidence of first-hand observation.

 

Romans 1:20
We are invited to look carefully at each of the things around us - an incredible level of information stored in the most primitive DNA, a universe expanding at nearly the critical rate to avoid recollapse, abstract thought along with love in the mind of man - and try to explain these things without invoking the existence of God.

 

1 Corinthians 14:20
Christians are advised to think like adults.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:21
Christians are advised to carefully examine everything.

 

1 Peter 3:15
Christians are advised to always be ready to defend their beliefs by providing a sound basis.

 

1 John 4:1-4
Christians are advised to test every prophet to determine if he or she speaks for God.

 

Jude 3
Christians are encouraged to contend earnestly for the faith.

 

The fundamental beliefs of Christianity should be the product of classical logic based on the evidence of Scripture, tradition and personal experience. Christian beliefs should never be based on blind faith in some authority figure or on Hegelian synthesis, which, no matter how cleverly disguised, is no more than a blind leap of faith based on someone's feelings, intuition and emotions. 

< Prev Next >