In my numerous discussions with atheists I’ve frequently encountered the charge that religion (viz, Christianity) is weak in its claims to hold “Truth”, whereas Science is very robust in that regard, because it uses more “rigorous” evidence and procedures in its quest for truth. Thus the (atheist) presumption that “science is everything” : scientific knowledge is the measure of all truth.
This claim is highly problematic, containing numerous unstated premises – – the omniscience of academia; the infallibility of the human mind; the perfection of current knowledge; the supremacy of a cerebral, analytical, skeptical way of understanding the word around us. It’s left-brain thinking to an absurd degree.
I’ve encountered a similar attitude when discussing the book of Genesis with very literal-minded readers. Truth is truth, plain and simple they say. If it’s not “true” according to their understanding, then it’s all a lie — are you calling the Word of God a lie!?? Such binary thinking is quite frustrating. Readers should not assume they have an infallible interpretation of what the original author wrote, and what was meant for readers to understand, when all sorts of context is missing, and language itself is an imperfect tool.
In the same way, reducing a religious faith to a bunch of propositional truth claims and cerebral arguments, to be verified or falsified by a scientific experiment, is a gross failure to comprehend religion’s broader purpose as a cultural touchstone. “What is Truth?” is an important question but not the *most* important question. Surely theists and atheists can agree that “How should we Live” is a more vital question facing humanity.
In this talk, Ravi Zacharias presents a solid case for why atheists have no acceptable answer for this all-important question. Pursuing the question from the angles of philosophy, the arts, and morality, Zacharias provides an illuminating discussion about the importance of this question and the consequences for failing to answer it adequately, while arguing that Christianity presents a satisfying answer.
Yes propositional truth and “proofs” are an important and significant part of the intellectual heritage of the Christian faith. There are numerous independent pieces of evidence to support a a rational conclusion that God exists. But endless philosophizing and arguing over abstractions won’t change the world. The most important part of Jesus’ message was not “I am God so everybody else shut up”; it was “This is how you should live”
Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians shows a better way:
Continue reading “How Should We Live?”