Monday, June 17, 2013

Good Post on Rational Belief

"Christians need to go against the grain and explore fully all of the reasons for beliefs – our own and those of others, the good reasons and the bad reasons (and the important differences between the two). To float with the postmodern current and make “belief” an intransitive verb – something without an object – is a mistake. Reason is a basic kind of revealed knowledge, maybe the most basic of all. No beliefs can be sensible or of any value without it. John Wesley said that it is “a fundamental principle … that to renounce reason is to renounce religion,” and asserted further that “all irrational religion is false religion.”...........

Belief is not just a posture or disposition. Despite the popular media usage of the word, “faith” is not just a generic description (e.g., “I’m a person of faith,” which is just a colloquial way of saying, “I’m religious in some way.”). The noun “faith” and the verb “believe” are the same word in the language of the New Testament, and it is a word with a connotation we’ve lost in our common usage today.  The public, and especially that part that claims to be Christian, has to wise up to the political emasculation of language (as well as of thought itself).  “Believe” is primarily a transitive verb. Without an object, what meaning does the word really convey? Belief has content. Faith does not hang in the open air, but is directed toward and rests upon something or someone. It is the same with the word “trust.” In fact faith is a kind of trust.

So whatever you believe, you should consider the reason(s) for it. There are only a few exceptions, in the rare category of those most basic beliefs (i.e., basic axioms or principles that can’t be derived from any previous ones but must be presupposed at the outset). Any and every other belief you hold, about anything whatsoever, if it is to be taken seriously, if it is to be of any value or worth anyone’s consideration, it must have in its favor more than your emotions, personal history or external circumstantial factors. It must have reasons."

Good stuff...... I don't agree with every stance of this blog, (Reclaiming the Mind; they are hard-core complementarians, for one thing) but some of their stuff I really enjoy. 

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