Snuffed by churchies

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by a believer friend (rare breed) to join a Facebook group called 'Christ, culture, relevance.' Like a good (deluded) atheist, I decided to join the discussion, and attempt to pry open a Christian mind or two. Futile is an understatement...

This is how the discussion is run:

Topic: The place of truth (There are many others, but I thought I'd cut to the chase.)

Then he pastes in these quotes from a guy called Tim Willard.

My cultural call to arms, then, is this: Christians, embrace dialogue, thought and search for that elusive frame of mind in which, as Lewis describes in The Abolition of Man, the love of truth exceeds the love of power. Do not sit back and join the choir of carefree criticism that dominates our culture. (Tim Wallard)

Mark Noll is right to warn, in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, "If we take this action by inaction, we are saying that we want our lives to be shaped by cultural forces—including intellectual forces—that contradict the heart of our religion." To be passive in a culture that seems to define progress as the destruction of traditional truth seeking will surely be our downfall" (Tim Wallard)

Me: (trying to fit in with the evangelical theme)

I'm not sure who Tim Willard is, but I'm quite surprised by his approach. I've never heard a Christian call to 'embrace thought and search for a frame of mind in which love of truth exceeds love of power.' Isn't that quite a scientific approach? Embracing thought means thinking beyond the safety of our holy scriptures. It means asking questions, carefully scrutinising all possible answers to those questions, and then asking new questions...

A love of truth is not compatible with our faith because our faith requires ignorance, and truth seeks to diminish it. If we were given incontrovertible (ie agreeably truthful) evidence that God and Jesus in Heaven existed, we would not need faith any more would we? For we would know. Where does that leave us?

Well, it leaves us at a place where we have to make a choice between faith and truth. If we really want to honestly seek truth, we need to understand that our faith will probably not survive the journey. If our faith does seem to have survived, then the journey could never have originally been undertaken.

I must lastly speculate that, for a Christian, to seek truth has be the greatest possible sin, because the truth has been handed to us through the Gospels, and to doubt the Gospels is to doubt the word of God, and therefore the very existence of Jesus. It's also known as 'heresy', and was punishable by death in many parts of the Christian world until fairly recently in human history.

Gone are the good old days. Thank God.

Jonathan Trusler (London) replied to your post17 hours ago

"A love of truth (Jesus) is not compatible with our faith because our faith requires ignorance, and truth (Jesus) seeks to diminish it." Doesn't make a lot of sense does it? It becomes more fun doing it for the rest of the post especially the last paragraph :)

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Jonathan Trusler (London) wrote17 hours ago
Jesus said "I am the truth." And the postmodern said, "What is truth?"

Me again:

Thank you Jonathan Trusler of London. You volunteered to be the prime example of how incompatible faith and truth will always be. As can plainly be seen, you are not interested in truth at all. You are interested in Jesus. But what you really should, but don't seem to realise is that your entire interest in Jesus is based on Faith. Faith is what's required in the absence of evidence (and some might say knowledge). It's otherwise defined as 'trust' or 'belief' - in your case probably less trust and more belief. To say that Jesus=Truth is merely stating what you believe. It doesn't answer any questions. It doesn't even pose new questions. It's a stated belief.

I think it's time people start to realise that JUST BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE SOMETHING, DOESN'T MEAN IT'S TRUE. Truth is something many of us will spend our whole lives in search of. Some people - like Mr Trusler here - will never look beyond the scriptures for truth (other than maybe a few Christian writers, probably CS Lewis), and that will be enough for them. But for those of you, like myself, who have a great nagging need to ask questions... well, it actually all sorts itself out you see, for (and I'd say to your benefit now, though for larger parts of history your more serious and extreme detriment) the church won't tolerate you for very long :)

Since we all love quotes so much, I'll end off with one:

"Blind faith is an ironic gift to give to the creator of human intelligence."


The next time I logged on both my posts had been removed from the discussion, but the morons left JT's response. Such is the regard of the religious for truth, or at least 'open discussion'...