• A Problem With Well Educated Christians

    I found an interesting blog on the web from a pretty well educated Christian. The Christian in question in well versed in the history of Christianity and the Bible. He is not one of those Christians who insists that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written by people of those names. To me that is always a great start. It means that I am dealing with someone who actually cares about reality… for the most part any way.

    The problem with Christians like this is that they often use their knowledge to gain authority rather than understanding. They then distort the facts and mislead their followers while using the authority of being well educated. I don’t think they do this on purpose; it is just that they don’t think the full context of their knowledge helps them convey the message they want to convey. In fact, that full context of their knowledge would convey the exact opposite message.

    They also probably don’t think that their followers are bright enough to understand that even though the facts don’t fit their message, the message is what it is independent of the facts through faith. The way I see it, it isn’t that their followers aren’t smart enough to understand, it is that the message is flawed from the start and they are afraid that their followers will see the obvious if they convey the full breath of their knowledge.

    In the comments section of this Christian’s blog, I called him out on the way he misrepresented the facts and I corrected the record. He actually agreed with me that I was correct about the facts, but then stated that he was not interested in debating the issue.

    Well, shit — there is nothing to debate. He agreed with me. So if he agreed that I was correct about the facts, why did he distort that information in his blog? Why will he continue to hold the same view even though he admits that he was wrong?

    Despite the appearance of valuing knowledge, education, and reason, some of these well-educated Christians still value blind faith above all else. Knowledge, education, and reason are just a way to gain credibility, not a path to actual understanding. It is no different than a Creationist getting a PhD from Liberty University, throwing on a lab coat, and calling him or herself a scientist.

    On the plus side, these Christians already know the truth. They just need to realize that it is okay for them to doubt and disbelieve.

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    Category: Progressive Christians

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    6 comments

    1. I’m reading a book about Christianity (I can’t remember the title), but in it, the author describes how students at seminary are taught that many things that they might preach are incorrect.

      They are taught the true history of the Israelites and the Judeans. They are taught that many things in the Bible can’t have happened the way it describes.

      They are taught this and still preach it on Sunday morning. IMO, this makes them as bad as lawyers. At least lawyers have the excuse that people are legally required to have representation. Christians are using lies to promote their religion to get more Christians, which them promote the same lies.

    2. The problem I’ve found with Christians like this isn’t that they don’t understand the problems with their theology, they just don’t care. I can’t tell you how many I’ve debated over the years who will freely admit that their thinking is flawed, that their logic is faulty and their positions unsupportable, but they refuse to actually change their stance on anything.

      To them, the belief is more important than the truth.

      I’d be willing to bet that should you go back in a few months and the individual was making the same sort of post, they’d be saying the same faulty things that you called them on, that they admitted were wrong, as they do today.

      1. That’s a key realization there. No matter how many times you show a believer that their evidence is wrong–even if they admit it!–they will continue to use those same arguments again, over and over, as if nothing had happened.

        Because in cognitive terms, it hasn’t.

        By far the biggest hurdle for most Christian believers (in my view) is to suddenly realize “Hey, maybe the Bible ISN’T automatically true!” Once the thoughtless certainty is broken, the rest of the awakening process is a breeze.

      2. Great point Cephus. I think the pain of having to admit they were wrong and leaving their faith assists them in living with cognitive dissonance. So often, they will bring out the same old arguments, knowing that there are holes in them. It can be maddening when the person doing that is a close friend or family member.

        When I deal with people like that, I just keep pointing out the holes. I also let them know that life is great when you leave religion. Perhaps someday, they will come around…

      1. I thought about doing that, but he is someone close to a personal friend of mine and he said he doesn’t want debate. I don’t agree with him, but I want to honor his request. If I linked to him, I know my readers will want to comment and debate with him (I did). So I would rather not link to him at this time. Down the road, that may change. I will probably read more of his blog and I am sure this won’t be the first time I reference his writing. For the record, his blog isn’t widely read.

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