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Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Belief is About Truth

I recently saw Inception, which was good movie that opens the door to many questions. One of those is the question of changing people's beliefs.  Can we change someone else's beliefs?  Absolutely and we do it all the time in a myriad of ways answers Ophelia Benson. Writing in U.K.'s The Guardian, She states:
"We're offered potential beliefs all the time, in news reports and advertising and conversation. We don't accept them all; we reject some, we doubt others, and even those we accept we may be prepared to change or reject if we learn more. We know perfectly well – or if we don't, we should – that it's not sensible to believe everything that turns up."

But she says there's an even more important question we must ask - how do we test the beliefs we hold?

The important issue isn't how we acquire a belief so much as how we test it, question it, evaluate it. Belief isn't a straight yes or no thing, or at least it shouldn't be. Once we're past childhood (and assuming we've had a decent education), we should know better than to believe whatever we're told.

Benson says that people treat religious beliefs as the exception to this rule.  Maybe some (or possibly most) people do. However, I do agree that it shouldn't be so. Being rational means holding onto true beliefs. And Christianity has always been a faith that challenges both its adherents and its skeptics to put it to the truth test. For examples of this, we can look to the New Testament.

Paul instructed the Thessalonian church to "examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good."(1 Thess 5:21) And in 1 Corinthians 15 - the oldest passage of the New Testament - Paul writes that if Jesus did not rise from the dead (as a real fact of history), then the Christian faith is worthless, we are deceived of God, and to be pitied above everyone else!

Christians shouldn't be afraid to face questions that ask about the truth of the Christian faith. We do a disservice to the believer and the seeker when we say that we shouldn't question faith. This doesn't mean we need to engage in any off the wall objection that someone thought of - people will many times be motivated not by a search for truth but simply want to waste your time. We should be willing to talk with those who have honest questions and show the reasons for Christianity. Christianity is not merely a belief - it is a true belief and we need to get that message out to the church and the world.

Image courtesy Mike Grauer Jr and Licensed by the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) License.

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