Abraham “Heard Voices”

It is important to tread carefully when something tragic is in the news, such as Aaron Alexis' recent shooting rampage at a Navy yard. But my students are continuing to discuss the Abraham story and the Euthyphro today, and we simply cannot bypass the question of how one would react to someone in our time [Read More...]

Fast Times at Butler University

One of the students in my First Year Seminar course, “Faith, Doubt, and Reason,” is also a blogger and is blogging about the class! The blog is called “Fast Times at Butler University” and here is link to a post about the most recent class meeting (which I mentioned in my last post): “Objective Morality [Read More...]

Argumentum a Recensiones Amazon

I have encountered what may be a relatively new fallacy, but is a logical fallacy nevertheless. A commenter attempted to argue that the Intelligent Design book Darwin’s Doubt is weighty because it has more 5-star reviews on Amazon.com than 1-star reviews. That is pretty surprising, to be sure, even given the inevitable turnout of the [Read More...]

Religious Doubt

Val Webb has shared a lecture she has been delivering, with the title “In Defense of Doubt.” It includes the following: Denigrating religious doubt is a matter of power and control — and a large dose of threat for religious authorities if people think for themselves.  Yet honest creative doubt has long been central in [Read More...]

Appropriately Skeptical Thomas

The above cartoon depicts the caricature of a doubter, and specifically of Thomas who became known as “Doubting Thomas.” But is skepticism in the face of seemingly incredible claims really inappropriate? Was Thomas the fool depicted in the cartoon above, or wiser than far too many gullible Christians today, whose unwillingness or inability to doubt [Read More...]

Early Christian Nicknames

The main reason there are so many nicknames in the New Testament is because there were no family names, and so it made it easier to refer to specific people when “Judah” or “Simeon” would have been vague. But that refers more to “Thomas” (a nickname meaning “twin”) than to his reputation as “doubting” (a [Read More...]

Christian Faith is not Belief, nor Certainty

A young Christian wrote an e-mail expressing concern about doubt. I thought I would share what I wrote to them, in case it is helpful to others: I wonder whether you may not have understood the “faith” referred to in the New Testament primarily in terms of holding the right beliefs. If you consider Paul’s [Read More...]

Is it OK to Doubt the Bible?

An interesting conversation between Tom Thatcher, professor at Cincinnati Christian University, and Tyler McKenzie, teaching pastor at Northeast Christian Church. Whatever you think of some of the details of the conversation, it reflects a dialectic approach that progressive Christians can embrace: On the one hand, recognizing that doubting and even disbelieving the Bible is not only [Read More...]

Questions vs. Security

This cartoon from David Hayward seems to me to be a good one for the transition to a new year: I like this one better than the previous one that I commented on. It illustrates a number of things, in my view correctly. Choosing a path of openness and exploration vs. pat answers and the [Read More...]

Fringe: Are Emotions Our Strength Or Our Weakness?

The episode of Fringe “The Human Kind,” which aired this past Friday, involves a lot of discussion that intersects with faith, doubt, reason, intuition, emotion, and even God and providence. Before getting into the spoiler-containing part of the post, let me say something that I think could already be said based on previous episodes. Joshua [Read More...]

Faith, Doubt, Sanity, and Don Quixote

Last week in my class “Faith, Doubt, and Reason” we began discussing Don Quixote, which the students had begun reading not long before. It was something of a puzzle to them what the connection was between the novel and the theme of the class. But the connections are there, and there are many of them. [Read More...]


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