Make That Christianity: 95% Brains, 5% Emotion

scales

Yesterday, did I say that Christianity is 5% brains and 95% emotion?

What I was thinking?

Let’s change that to 95% brains, and 5% emotion.

Here’s why that formula also works: You would have to be one drool-stained moron to commit your heart, mind and soul to any faith or belief system that isn’t obviously, and in every last possible way, logically coherent and rationally defensible.

There may be a God. There may not be. People can screech about it until their eyes pop, but the fact remains that (um … as of this writing) it is exactly as reasonable to guess one as the other. (Doubt it, Thomas? That can only mean you haven’t read my brilliant, revolutionary, illuminating, tolerably cohesive piece, Logically There’s No Arguing It: We Can’t KNOW If There’s a God or Not)

For me personally, I think it’s more reasonable—and certainly more fun, which for me pretty seriously matters—to choose to believe that there is a God.

Given all the God Options in the world (and discounting, as I do, the dumb hassle of making up my own religion), I find that none makes as much raw, logical sense as Christianity.

God loves us; he wanted to alleviate us of the guilt and pain that’s a necessary result of our free will without at the same time violating that will; he became human so we’d know how utterly he gets us; he told anyone who would listen exactly why he was going to do exactly what he did; he did it; and then he left the entirety of himself available ever afterwards to anyone who simply and sincerely asked for it.

And voila: I’m all in.

I’m a smart guy. (At the very least, I promise, smart enough to realize what a hopelessly lame thing that is to say.) I didn’t become a Christian and then immediately jam a fork into an outlet in order to irreparably short-circuit my brain. Instead, I became assiduous about understanding and then evaluating Christianity’s core assumptions and prescriptions in terms that were rigorously and exclusively logical.

I spent some 30 years despising Christianity. (And three studying formal logic with one of the world’s premier logicians—but whatever.) I wasn’t about to jump that ship without being perfectly sure that, of all things, it was rationally defensible to do so.

Christianity passed every test with which I could think to hammer it. Logical. Emotional. Historical. Even literarily—which, you know. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.

Like millions upon millions of people before me much more discerning and scrupulously intelligent than I, I did not find the system of Christianity (as opposed to its trillion iterations) in any way wanting.

God become man is still on the cross.

And without question I’m still all in.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • mm

    John: I like this alot: "There may be a God. There may not be. People can screech about it until their eyes pop, but the fact remains that…it is exactly as reasonable to guess one as the other". You're absolutley right. I just happen to choose option B. But I'm not one of those preachy/confrontational atheists. I don't look down on people who choose option A. I understand i'm in the minority for a reason.

    By the way, being the grammar nerd you are(I of course mean that in a good way), is it correct for me to use double colons in the first paragraph? Also, should we debate the use of punctuation in or outside of quotations?

    Man I love the english language. No one knows what the hell to do.

  • http://helly.tripod.com Helly

    For me it's more like 99% brains. Or, it is the 95% brain that drives the 5% emotion. It was apologists like C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel that made compelling enough cases to get me "on the bandwagon", so to speak, after a lifetime as a skeptic. I'm the type of person who feels most comfortable with concrete things, so a logical approach to Christianity was the best way to win me over.

    I think I oughta pick up a copy of your book. I swear I just saw it while book browsing not too long ago. Obviously it was before I started reading your blog, or I would've made the connection :-)

  • Robert

    Is there free will in heaven?

    I'm also curious, what evidence do you regard as compelling for the historicity of the Old Testament, as well as the Gospels?

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Can I inquire as to the nature/genesis of your curiosity?

  • Joy

    BRILLIANT! I've nothing else to say on this writing.

  • Greta Sheppard

    I'M WITH YOU, JOY!!!

    JOHN'S VIABLE KNOWLEDGE AND USE OF WORDS NEVER CEASE TO AMAZE ME!

  • altonwoods

    This jumped out at me…

    If I claimed that your neighbor’s car trunk was either 1) empty or 2) contained a Fabergé egg, gilded with sapphires and bunnies wearing tophats in a cloth bag cut from Al Capone’s suit jacket; which would you put your money on? (Hint: empty)

    I find it infinitely more absurd, based on what I've learned of the intricacies of all things and how they are in harmony with each other and about a gozillion other things that I could possibly deny the presence of an intelligent design.

    I sincerely think that you have to try to not see it…I'm definitely all in!

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Bur

    Alton:

    I acknowledge the 'appearance' of design. Even if I were to concede actual design (I don't), that only takes the argument as far as deism. It offers no support for the Christian god whatsoever.

    Re: the appearance of design…

    A full understanding of natural selection and probability and the vast times involved well explains the appearance of design. It is far beyond the scope of this thread to educate readers here.

    If any here would like to invest 2 hours (which can be viewed over time in small chunks) to watch a brilliantly done piece on Intelligent Design , view it here.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/program.html

    Heck…send me your address and a couple dollars and I will mail you a copy on DVD.

  • Robert

    The nature/genesis of my curiousity is to seek knowledge and broader understanding.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike (FVThinker) Burns

    “There may be a God. There may not be. People can screech about it until their eyes pop, but the fact remains that (um … as of this writing) it is exactly as reasonable to guess one as the other. “

    Just because there are two possible choices, does not make them equally likely. If I claimed that your neighbor’s car trunk was either 1) empty or 2) contained a Fabergé egg, gilded with sapphires and bunnies wearing tophats in a cloth bag cut from Al Capone’s suit jacket; which would you put your money on? (Hint: empty)

    You can legitimately say there is some higher power or the is not some higher power, but one is not as likely as the other. Things are further muddied here by presenting the false dichotomy of choosing between ‘no higher power’ and ‘a specific higher power’ (the Christian God). When the reality is that there are other options besides the Christian god.

    It is not “exactly as reasonable to guess one as the other”.

  • Lynn

    John wrote…”Logically There’s No Arguing It: We Can’t KNOW If There’s a God or Not).”

    We will find out after our last breath and last heartbeat (barring any artificial means of mechanical/medical life support). The choice to believe or not believe in God is ours, up to our last breath and heartbeat. The moment after that will explain it all. I’m still all in too John, without question.

  • Aro

    "There may be a God. There may not be. People can screech about it until their eyes pop, but the fact remains that (um … as of this writing) it is exactly as reasonable to guess one as the other."

    Surely personal revelation must count for something on this? Granted, there's a wealth of personal revelations out there that go in all directions, but if one were to have an experience that was genuinely miraculous and clearly externally generated, i.e. Paul's conversion, yet personal, this should surely count for some credibility, yes?


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