Thinking Christianity

Most people live like they believe there are two worlds — a physical world and a spiritual world. The physical world is the one they see themselves in 99% of the time, while they only worry about the spiritual one during particularly exciting Sundays and on Halloween.

These two worlds have no overlap, and they operate under completely different rules. The physical world is all hard logic and reason, whereas none of that stuff applies to the spiritual world. On the contrary, the spiritual world is almost purposely abstract and mysterious. No one can understand it, no one should even try.

Well, I don’t think there are two worlds; I think there’s just one world. And critical thinking is an important part of that world. The apologetics blog Come Reason has a good post on that very thing:


Christians today have accepted the secular world’s idea that somehow faith and reason inhabit separate spheres. The two are sitting on opposite ends of a spectrum and the more one applies tools such as logic and philosophy to his or her beliefs, the less and less they will be considered faithful or pleasing to God. A bumper sticker that used to be fairly popular summed up this kind of attitude: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.”


But nowhere in scripture are we commanded to approach our beliefs blindly. In fact, we are commanded to do just the opposite. When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Tellingly, although Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, He added the phrase “and with all your mind.” Jesus said that loving God must include developing the life of the mind.


This makes a lot of sense, given how Jesus identified Himself. In John 14:6 He said, “I am the Way the truth and the Life.” Well, if we think about Jesus as truth, then we should be applying reason and logic to our beliefs. Logic is simply a tool that we use to find truth.


Part of our difficulty in seeing logic and critical thinking as ways we can better love God may be because we think that such tasks are only human enterprises, while Jesus is divine. Logic means works, while He is grace. But if Jesus is truth and we can use logic to discern truth, then we can use logic to see the reality of Jesus.

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