A truly informed, thoughtful faith  

Posted by Denis Haack in , ,

Not long ago I visited a friend who said that he had recently been convicted about the fact that he’d not really “checked into the veracity” of his Christian beliefs. So he had recently made it something of a project to look into the evidence for and against the Christian tradition into which he’d been born and raised. He wanted to take a step back and see whether or not the stuff he’d been raised with was actually true. I asked him what he’d been reading. He pointed me to a collection of about eight to ten books on the evidence for and against Christian belief on his shelf—not bad for a busy professional with a young family. But upon closer examination, I noticed that all of the books had Christian authors.

“These books are all written by Christians,” I pointed out.

“Yep. I’ve been making apologetics a sort of hobby. I especially like the stuff by Craig, Strobel, and Geisler.”

“Do you suppose there are non-Christians writing on this topic?”

“I suppose there probably are.”

“Do you know who they are?”

“No. I haven’t really looked for that sort of thing.”

Now I don’t mean to suggest that what my friend was doing is a bad idea. There’s nothing wrong with trying to shore up your faith with evidence. There’s a wealth of very good material out there on the rationality of Christian belief, and Christians do themselves a favor by getting acquainted with it. But to think of this as a genuine checking into the veracity of Christian belief is a bit of a stretch. It’s a bit like checking into the claims of “holistic medicine” by reading only those studies written by its practitioners and ignoring the critical treatment of these practices in “mainstream” medical journals.

Source: I Told Me So: Self-deception and the Christian life by Gregg A. Ten Elshof (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing; 2009) pp. 34-35.

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