Many people believe that faith and thinking can not go together. We pit science against religion. We think faith is antithetical to reason. As a result, many Christians have become practical anti-intellectuals. Many Christians have not thought through their beliefs, let alone have any arguments for them. Christian apologist Douglas Groothuis argues that this intellectual apathy among Christians has greatly hurt the church in America. He writes in his book Christian Apologetics:
One reason Christianity has failed to exert much influence on the major intellectual institutions of America is that too many Christians hold their beliefs in an uninformed and precarious fashion. Instead of pursuing answers to the toughest questions an unbelieving world can marshal, they attempt to preserve certainty through ignorance and isolation, relying on platitudes rather than arguments.
We need an intellectual renaissance among the Christian church. Christian theism is no longer the predominant worldview in our culture, and is constantly being attacked and questioned. Philosophical and apologetic laziness will continue to hurt the church We must be obedient to 1 Peter 3:15 where we are commanded to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ. In our rationalistic world dominated by the worldview of naturalism, Christians need to provide an apologetic for their faith more than ever. We need to provide answers and be able to provide solid answers to the culture’s questions about Christianity.
My great concern is that Christians have become intellectually dull. They fail to study the scriptures with diligence. We do not develop our own reasons for believing the faith other than “that’s just what I believe” or “this is how I was raised”. More than ever we need Christians who can intelligently engage with competing world views while demonstrating the boldness of Christ along with his patient humility.
Have you noticed intellectual laziness in Christians? Why do we fail to think through the reasons for our faith? How is this hindering our evangelism? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!