Faith amidst Cynicism and Skepticism

Faith amidst Cynicism and Skepticism March 16, 2012

Today’s world is cynical of all things not least of faith. Even the most sympathetic to the Christian faith struggle with the sense of certainty. In a world as pluralistic as ours, it is difficult to feel any real sense of certainty about what we personally believe. We are often plagued by the questions of social conditioning and historical context. “What if I believe what I believe simply because I grew up in the Bible Belt”, for example? Or “Have I been predisposed to believe because of the home I grew up in and the world around me that supported those beliefs”? Or “Would I have lived in another time and another place would I have been a Muslim instead?” Questions similar to these often plague people of faith. What’s more, these kinds of questions are the meat and potatoes of skeptics.

Others have become disillusioned and cynical because of their experience of the Church. For some there is a deep wound os some kind hidden behind a sharp cynicism of organized Church.

I think, however, that having faith is superior to cynicism and skepticism. Here are six reasons.

  1. Neither position can claim a place of “higher ground” in regard to certainty.
  2. Neither path is less risky.
  3. Neither is less susceptible to error.
  4. Faith opens up the possibility for that illusive sense of meaning in life as one commits oneself to something.
  5. Faith is open to ways of knowing beyond methodological naturalism.
  6. Faith can better incorporate the human predicament, that is the limits of the human condition.

For anyone struggling with skepticism an excellent book I’ve recently read is Daniel Taylor’s The Myth of Certainty. It has been out for a while, but still as relevant as it was a decade ago, perhaps even more so in the second decade of the 21st century.

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