Christian reply

Last week, in response to an earlier letter of mine concerning anti-Christian bigotry, philosophy student Rick Fryer twitted me for trampling over logic and reason in my rush to embrace Holy Writ. He is certainly entitled to his own conclusions, but his belief that reason is somehow superior to “dogma” immoral affairs is insupportable—which is no more that what was said before.

Previously, I had mentioned that it becomes impossible to evaluate our notions of right and wrong without absolutes which can serve as an objective reference. That these absolutes cannot originate with ourselves can be demonstrated by the fallacies one encounters in defending moral decisions by the use of reason alone.

Because it has placed itself beyond verification or falsification, relativism is ultimately fideistic—a charge usually reserved only for Christians who stupidly claim a “higher authority.”

Actions dictated by reason are accordingly no more ethical than the person behind them. One may “prove” his position flawlessly, but an argument is only as good as the premises upon which it stands, which is why validity doesn’t imply soundness.

The Christian who consults the Bible for assistance in making moral decisions isn’t spurning reason as a guide, but as a source. Those who accuse him of blindly accepting dogma from some “mystical book” should explain why their position is any more defensible.

The presumption that Christianity fosters indifference to reason is based on several misconceptions.

One is that only naive people believe in God, although such naive persons as C.S. Lewis, Sir William Ramsey, and former Harvard Law Professor Simon Greenleaf, were once hard-nosed skeptics who carefully examined the evidence for the Christian faith and became convinced of its veracity.

Another is that Christianity is just a psychological crutch, although it’s natural to assume that if God does indeed exist, He would provide the means by which man’s deepest needs could be fulfilled.

Yet another is that the Bible is so outlandish that it’s impossible for sophisticated intellects to believe. I won’t take time to go into this one, but rest assured that the Bible’s staunchest detractors are frequently those who know little or nothing about it.

In a secular institution, it’s common for Christianity to be regarded as an anachronism better suited to the days when people wore bearskins. The idea that God became a man in order to redeem fallen humanity from its sin met with ridicule from those who claim to know better.

Yet, those who love and obey the Lord Jesus Christ attest to having joy and purpose to life that no outside challenge can ever dampen. I encourage Mr. Fryer and other nonbelievers to seriously investigate Christianity before dismissing it as the harmful opiate it is so often claimed to be.

John Hill