I recently had a conversation with someone who was concerned about my church attendance and the churches that I had been a part of. Their told me, “Mike, it doesn’t matter what church you go to, as long as it is a Bible-believing church.” I didn’t want to get in it with this person, so I let the conversation end there. But, what I really was thinking was this:
“What is biblical?”
“Are you biblical?”
“Am I biblical?”
“If you think you are biblical and I think I am biblical and we have different answers, then which one of us unbiblical?”
“And, even if I am the one who is unbiblical in knowledge, but my existential structures and systemic living are transformed by the God who is in the Bible, then what is more important: being biblical in thinking, or being biblical in living?”
“Can someone separate biblical living from biblical thinking? Because if we believe in the truth, and that truth sets us free, then how can this person be biblical if they’re an angry, narcissistic tool?”
I didn’t used to think like this. I began thinking like this in my early 20s, when I started reading philosophy. Whereas psychology allowed me to experience God in a way that created experiences that seem beyond logic, philosophy allows me to construct, deconstruct, and reconstruct something in a way that is logical. And, unless we as Christians are able to formulate our thoughts and beliefs properly, it is hard to take Jesus seriously when he tells us to love him with all of our mind.
The first part of our lives are spent receiving the worldview, the knowledge, the beliefs, of those around us. Until we learn to break away, to deconstruct, then we can never have a personal faith, our own thoughts, and a unique worldview. I think philosophy exposes problems, and that could serve a great purpose in our modern context of Christianity. If we don’t learn to think, then we should learn to stay silent.
“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” -Soren Kierkegaard