Which is Necessary to Understand Christianity? Scholarship or Childlike Faith?

I always find it interesting how the religious praise small children for making their commitments to god (as if they understand what they’re doing), then turn around and tell logical people that they “haven’t read enough to truly understand.” So – which is it? If someone needs to read books, then children should not be making any life decisions without first reading these books.  And do they really believe that all religious folk today have read all of these “sophisticated theologians” (borrowed from Jerry Coyne)? If not, then shouldn’t they require it of their own congregation members?

In essence, it’s a way to comfort themselves inside of their bubbles. No matter what, there is no subject (god) to tell anyone different. To borrow from Sam Harris, they are all “playing tennis without a net.” If all it takes is to read scholarship then I would expect that all of those who have read the “scholarly books” would come to agreement. Yet they don’t. But somehow they believe they have the “one true answer”.

Keep up the good fight against the lunacy.

—Nate, a reader of this blog

5 thoughts on “Which is Necessary to Understand Christianity? Scholarship or Childlike Faith?

  1. I’m feeling that it’s not either or, but both. Faith should always be informed by knowledge, IMO.

    What is interesting and perplexing to me is that folks can be exposed to the same scholarship, (knowledge) and yet come to very different conclusions. For instance, Bart Ehrman’s teacher at Princeton who Ehrman respected greatly was Dr. Bruce Metzger. Dr. Metzger was arguably one of the greatest NT scholars of his time.

    Dr. Ehrman eventually became an atheist, and yet, Dr. Metzger was a committed orthodox Christian believer until his death.

    Both were exposed to the same information, the same scholarship. What made the difference in their faith conclusions?


        1. Bart March 5, 2017 (Bart Ehrman, from his blog)

          The problem is much more stark than that. None of the professors of Biblical studies at Princeton Seminary agreed with Metzger! So everyone disagrees. The question is: how do *you* weigh the evidence. (Not you personally: you, as in everyone)


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