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Which do you value more: God or truth?

Postby Seabiscuit » Sat May 28, 2016 3:36 pm

I can't help but see that the Christian environments and resources I've been around seem to be full of the messaging that belief is to be deeply valued. Some examples of this messaging may be the lyrics in worship songs:

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the Name of Jesus

Or Christian articles - some about demonstrating your belief to God

or sermons about believing

Another thing is the stated goal of Christian Apologetics: To defend Christianity. Basically, another way of saying - "Figure out a way to justify the belief that God exists, that Jesus is the son of God, etc." which is notably different than "to seek truth and realign our worldview based on new realizations."

I'm convinced that Christianity is full of messaging that tells its followers to value belief over truth seeking. What I'm curious about is how this messaging affects its followers.

So, what do you value more: your belief in God, or an honest search for truth?

Before you answer An honest, straightforward answer would be "I value my belief in God more than truth seeking" or "I value truth seeking more than my belief in God." As a Christian, I expect that you believe those two things are in alignment - which is fine. My question is - what do you value more? It is a question about priorities.

Re: Which do you value more: God or truth?

Postby jimwalton » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:06 pm

This is such an odd and loaded question. It's like, "Which is a higher value to you, breathing or living?" Well, you can't keep living if you're not breathing, and you can't keep living if you're not breathing. But you want to force me to choose between two, as you say, perfectly aligned concepts.

But you think you clarified that it's a choice between faith and truth-seeking, but that's also a false dilemma, since faith is making an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make that assumption reasonable. In other words, I believe because it has been substantiated as true.

A third qualifier to your tricky dilemma is that knowledge has at least four components to it: reason, evidence, presuppositions, and experience.

With all of those as conditions to my answer, if you're going to force me to pick one, I would say that the honest search for truth is paramount. If we're not looking for truth, we're deluding ourselves. I ground my reason, presuppositions, observations, and experiences, and therefore my beliefs, in a determined quest for what is true.

I should hope that you understand that "belief" (faith) is even variously defined:

1. Faith is "complete trust or confidence in someone or something," like sitting in a chair, or that an employee will do his job well.

2. Faith is "firm belief in something for which there is no proof," like dark matter.

3. Faith is "belief in, trust in, and loyalty to God," based on presuppositions, reason, and evidence.

4. Faith is "a system of religious beliefs," like the Jewish faith or the Christian faith.

I define faith, as I already mentioned, as making an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make that assumption reasonable. Therefore the question for truth and my ultimately belief are mutually contingent parallel tracks. Christianity is nothing like valuing belief over truth seeking.

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