How To Seek Theological Truth


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If we are really interested in embracing true beliefs, then the last thing we would ever do is to try and convince ourselves that we already embrace true beliefs. A genuine concern for the truth is simply incompatible with a concern to feel certain that one already believes the truth. If a person is really concerned with truth, they will try to examine their beliefs critically and go out of their way to confront evidence that has the potential to make them doubt their beliefs.

The rational way to go about deciding whether something is true is to assess the evidence and arguments for and against a truth claim and to base your level of confidence in its truth or falsity on the weight of these considerations. There really is no other way of rationally deciding what’s true or false. Of course the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of others whom we trust also play an important role in the formation of our beliefs, but these factors should complement rather than replace our rational assessment of truth claims.

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The more that is at stake in assessing a truth claim, the more intensely we work to determine if the truth claim is, in fact, true.

A reasonable person’s confidence that a potential belief is true (whether it’s a truth claim about a car or a truth claim about God) is in proportion to the strength of the evidence and arguments that support the belief compared to the strength of the evidence and arguments that count against the belief.

This is the pattern found in Scripture where we are told to seek wisdom, to search for truth, and to rationally consider matters. In fact, Proverbs 8 is about nothing other than this. So too, Luke declares that Jesus gave “many convincing proofs” to people that he had in fact risen from the dead (Acts 1:3). God clearly does not expect people to embrace beliefs without sufficient reason or to try to convince themselves of things beyond what the evidence warrants.’

Source: Gregory Boyd (ReKnew).

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