By Brian B
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and behold one of the strangest creatures in the world! He is sometimes thought of as paradoxical, almost oxymoronic, and yet he is far more common than most of you think! That's right folks, presenting to you tonight is that fascinating individual we call...the Thinking Christian!
The Thinking Christian is especially common in the more urban areas of Canada, and can often be seen on private Christian campuses. Many are students, and some are learned professors. But the Thinking Christian can be anyone-it could be that smiling father or that studious girl, or that friendly bus driver. On the outside, they appear normal. But if we delve into their minds and their inner workings, we discover a strange and confusing world.
The first thing to notice when examining a Thinking Christian's brain is that firm metal wedge driven right down the center of their brains, thus creating, in a sense, not one, but two brains. You will notice that on one side, there is a flurry of activity. Facts are processed, opinions are made, questions are asked, beliefs are challenged, evaluations are made. It is alive!
Now let us look at the other side of the brain. By contrast, it is surprisingly static. However, you will notice that it is not completely empty. There is an iron box inside, padlocked with a complex code. In this box is a list of religious doctrines, the title of which reads: "I BELIEVE THIS". These doctrines rarely, if ever, change. The other side might question from time to time why those doctrines are in there, but never are they taken out or removed.
For all the activity that goes on in the former part of the Thinking Christian's brain, never does it occur to him that the locked up list might contain faulty presuppositions. You see, this list was not written by him, nor was it contrived by careful thinking and analysis. Rather, it was put there by someone else.
Since the Thinking Christian is a clever individual, his subconscious knows that if he really thought about it, there is no good reason that this list of religious doctrine should be there at all. However, his need, his dependence upon these doctrines prevail against his good sense. Therefore, in order to maintain belief in these doctrines, he slams a wedge between them and the rest of his intelligent brain, with a sign glaring, "DO NOT TOUCH!" He may ask questions and think about anything else he pleases, but these doctrines must always be the default position.
This is how we can have Christians who will acknowledge the numerous historical problems with the canon of the Bible and yet proclaim it the word of God. This is how we have Christians who are troubled with concepts such as hell in light of a "merciful" creator, yet believe in it anyway.
Anyway folks, I hope this has been enlightening, but our Thinking Christian has another book on apologetics to read, so we'll let him go now.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)