Why are Christians So Stupid? - Does the Bible Teach Blind Faith?
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Many skeptics think that Christianity is for people who do not want to think. Christians are often characterized as people who believe whatever they are told by the church. Faith is thought of as something that one believes blindly - with no supporting evidence. However, this viewpoint does not represent biblical Christianity. In contrast, to what many skeptics believe, the Bible challenges its readers to test it and come to a reasonable conclusion. There are those Christians who believe blindly, and certain cults1 (such as Mormonism) teach that truth can be known through prayer. These ideas are heretical to biblical Christianity and often lead to deception, making such individuals susceptible to conversion by the cults.

 

Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

 

What does the Bible teach?

Contrary to what many non-believers think, the Bible does not teach blind faith. In fact, the Bible actually tells believers to test everything (1 Thessalonians 5:21). No other "holy" book tells its readers to actually put what it says to the test. The Bible can make such a statement because it passes the tests of truthfulness that no other "holy" book can. God Himself in His revelation to Isaiah stated, "Come now, and let us reason together..."2 God, the Creator of humans and human reasoning ability3 wants us to use that ability to determine His plan of salvation. How do we determine if the Bible is true? We test it and see if it is reasonable. Psalm 19 tells us that the universe "declares the glory of God" and that this "voice goes out into all the earth."4 This site is dedicated to showing how the universe declares God's love and design. In fact, the Bible says that the evidence for God's design of the universe is so strong that people are "without excuse" in rejecting God and His plan of salvation.5

The importance of the mind in the life of believers and non-believers

The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific RevolutionThe Bible encourages people to use their minds. In fact, the Bible says that God created humans and endowed them with a mind so that they would use it.6 The Bible says that God and Jesus Christ will test the minds (as well as the hearts) of people.7 One of the most important prophecies to Christianity, the prophecy of the New Covenant,8 fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth,9 describes the changes God does in both the heart and the mind of those who are transformed.10 The Bible says that those who do not believe do so, in part, because of deception in their minds.11 This deception leads to hostility to God and defiling of their minds and consciences.12 The mind is also very important in the life of a Christian. The Christian is encouraged to set his "mind on the things above."13 We are also encouraged to direct our "mind to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation."14 Christians should use their minds in all aspects of life15 and "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."16 We are to use our minds to experience the reality of the Holy Spirit in order to experience His peace.17 This peace of God, "which surpasses all comprehension" guards both our hearts and our minds.18 Even the act of worship (both prayer and singing) should involve both the spirit and the mind.19

 

The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15)

 

The Bible encourages people to acquire knowledge

The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament gives practical advice for living, raising children, and making good choices versus bad choices. Many of the verses discuss the importance of acquiring knowledge and wisdom,20 even to the degree of choosing knowledge over riches.21 Faith is of utmost importance to the Christian. But the Bible doesn't say to limit your belief to faith alone. In fact, it commands us to add first moral excellence then second knowledge.22 Daniel, one of the greatest examples of faith, who had an amazing prayer life, was also a man of great knowledge and intelligence, and used this ability to witness to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.23 Solomon, in his prayers to God, asked for wisdom and knowledge, both of which God granted to him.24

Biblical faith is based upon knowledge and sound doctrine

God wants believers to be knowledgeable, especially regarding their faith. A lack of knowledge leads to apostasy and destruction, as God Himself said to Hosea, "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge."25 A zeal for God is not sufficient to please Him, since many Jews have this zeal, although it is misplaced since it is "not in accordance with knowledge."26 The Bible encourages believers to have a knowledge-based faith, built upon sound biblical doctrine.27 When Paul preached the gospel, he did it through reasoning from the scriptures and not an appeal to blind faith.28 Paul, in his letters told believers to do away with childish thinking and reasoning.29 Christians are advised to set an example for others in teaching by modeling "integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech."30 The physician Luke, in his prologue to his gospel revealed that he determined the truth through careful investigation:

...it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:3-4)

 

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" (Matthew 22:37)31

What did Jesus teach?

Jesus extended the first of the ten commandments to love the Lord not only with our hearts and souls,32 but also our minds.33 Jesus almost always taught using parables and examples. He did this specifically so that people would think about what He was saying. In fact, in many instances, Jesus would ask people what they thought of what He said.34 When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he explained the scriptures to his disciples and "opened their minds" so that they could see how He fulfilled the messianic prophecies.35

 

Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD (Isaiah 1:18)36

Conclusion Top of page

The Bible teaches a rational faith, based upon knowledge and refined through testing. Christians are encouraged to use their minds in all aspects of life, including our spiritual life - prayer and worship. God values truthfulness to a high degree and wants us to know the truth about his creation, the nature of His being and His scriptures. Ultimately, God wants all people to come to the knowledge of the truth of His salvation through Jesus Christ,37 so that they may spend eternity with Him in the new creation.



Modern examples of intelligent Christians

 


References Top of page

  1. The term “cult” can have many different meanings. However, in this page and others on this website “cult” refers to a religious group that has broken off from another religion, with major differences in theology and/or practice.
  2. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
  3. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
  4. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)
  5. ... what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:19-20)
  6. "Who has put wisdom in the innermost being, Or has given understanding to the mind? (Job 38:36)
  7. O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds. (Psalm 7:9)
    Examine me, O LORD, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)
    "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:10)
    Yet, O LORD of hosts, Thou who dost test the righteous, Who seest the mind and the heart; Let me see Thy vengeance on them; For to Thee I have set forth my cause. (Jeremiah 20:12)
    ...all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:23)
  8. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33)
  9. See the page, "Prophecies of Jesus Christ as Messiah"
  10. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the LORD. I will put My laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. (Hebrews 8:10)
    "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." (Hebrews 10:16)
  11. ...the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
    Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds. (Jeremiah 14:14)
  12. because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; (Romans 8:7)
    To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. (Titus 1:15)
  13. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)
  14. I directed my mind to know, to investigate, and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. (Ecclesiastes 7:25)
  15. Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)
  16. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15)
  17. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, (Romans 8:6)
  18. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
  19. What is the outcome then? I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also; I shall sing with the spirit and I shall sing with the mind also. (1 Corinthians 14:15)
    For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. (1 Corinthians 14:14)
  20. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
    Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand. (Proverbs 10:14)
    Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly. (Proverbs 13:16)
    The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15)
    Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who makes haste with his feet errs. (Proverbs 19:2)
  21. "Take my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold. (Proverbs 8:10)
  22. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
  23. And as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams. (Daniel 1:17)
    "This was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas, and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Let Daniel now be summoned, and he will declare the interpretation." (Daniel 5:12)
  24. "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can rule this great people of Thine?" God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have." (2 Chronicles 1:10-12)
  25. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)
  26. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. (Romans 10:2)
  27. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. (Titus 2:2)
    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; (2 Timothy 4:3)
    You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1)
  28. And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (Acts 17:2)
    So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. (Acts 17:17)
    And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. (Acts 18:4)
    And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. (Acts 18:19)
    But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth. (Acts 26:25)
  29. When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
  30. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8)
  31. AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' (Mark 12:30)
  32. "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
  33. Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" (Matthew 22:37)
  34. He said, "Yes." And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?" (Matthew 17:25)
    "What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? (Matthew 18:12)
    "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' (Matthew 21:28)
    saying, "What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?" They said to Him, "The son of David." (Matthew 22:42)
    "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)
    "Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" (Luke 10:36)
  35. Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (Luke 24:45)
  36. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
  37. God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:4-5)

http://godandscience.org/apologetics/reason.html
Last Modified April 28, 2006

 

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