Why do You Believe What You Believe?
Logic is that far out concept that we allegedly use every day, yet is arbitrarily argued through different definitions. In their book “Come, Let Us Reason” Norman Geisler and Ronald Brooks define logic as, “Logic is the study of right reason or valid inferences and the attending fallacies, formal and informal.” The two authors paraphrase the meaning as, “Logic is the way to think so that we can come to correct conclusions by understanding implications and the mistakes people often make in thinking.” They could have just said; you used logic this morning by not drinking your coffee the second it was finished brewing. Your mind came to the conclusion that the coffee was hot due to the process of using near boiling water in coffee extraction. Innately, your mind understood the implications of burning your tongue on the hot coffee (probably from experience). All of this happened without you even realizing it, subconscious 1 – conscious 0. Okay, so logic is important, but why should I be aware of logic and what does it matter in terms of my walk with God. Well, I’m glad you asked (see what I did there).
First, we need to stress the fact that logic stems from God. Logic is utilized in determining truth and determining a fallacy. We know that all truth stems from God and that God is truth. Thus, logic stems from God Himself. Logic did not predate God, we know nothing existed before God if there ever even was a “before God.” However, we must use logic before we come to God. Logic is a process one utilizes in understanding the need to be saved from themselves.
Next, we need to know that logic, critical thinking, reason, or whatever trendy term you would like to use for actively thinking about thinking is a gift from God. Yes, you were made in the image of God, but he also gave you a mind that allows you to determine your identity. It is up to you to determine whether your identity is found in God or not.
God is often blamed for being some harsh dictator in the sky. He created us only to control us, and we have to follow the conditions of his book or we are going to suffer the wrath of his anger. The ideology of God being controlling is so humorous because it is so illogical. First, if God wanted you to control you and force you to into his way then he wouldn't have given you free thought. This ideology stems from man’s thinking of power and control. God created man with a will and thinking so man could decide to worship God on his own. Man creates robots who have no free will and are programmed to do whatever man says they must do. There are whole books and stories based on the idea that robots develop their own thinking and turn against humans. This sounds kind of like a Freudian Slip based on our relationship with God. He creates man, mans turns his back on him and aims to destroy all ideology of God.
Genesis 1 and the entire Bible shows us the power of God’s ability to create. God has the ability, unlike anything else, to create something tangible from nothing. This ability defies scientific thought to such an extreme that whole ideas dismissing creationism have risen, no matter how preposterous they may be. Science has overlooked one simple fact of how we were made in the image of God. We, like God, can create something from nothing. Before you raise your pickets in protest hear me out.
The serpent deceiving Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) is a perfect example of allowing the subject to come to the conclusion themselves. Genesis 3:5 says, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This was not a lie; the serpent was telling the truth he was only exaggerating the desire of this knowledge. Think of it like an advertisement for cigarettes telling you all the cool kids smoke, but forgetting to tell you that you’ll probably get lung cancer. Logic was birthed in humanity at the first bite of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Like God, we know wrong from right, yet unlike God we can get deceived into believing what is right and what is wrong.
As stated previously, God can create something from nothing, and we have the same power. God has the power to speak worlds into existence utilizing no matter or tangible object. You, however, have the power to create an original thought. The basis of this article stems from a number of books and lectures, but this material has never been written in this way before, it is original to my mind and my ideas. Your mind can think up a thought from nothing. Your imagination can take you to places you have never been, and may never go.
Because we have logic, and the power to create new ideas; we can see where all the various religions and concepts about religions have come from, us. Our various ideas of truth do not negate the original truth, God is God. There are a million ways to know God, but only one way to approach God, through his word. God has given us the privilege of knowing truth. Unlike the billions of people who have lived in the thousands of years prior to us, we have a unique privilege they never had. We can both know God through his word and converse directly with God through prayer. (As a side note, it is worth discussing that prayer is designed to be a dialogue between man and God. Someone we have morphed the dialogue into a monologue then get frustrated with God for never speaking to us. The audacity of humans is quite humorous. Next time you pray, please, approach it as a dialogue and give God a chance to talk.)
So we have the privilege of knowing truth, but this is where things get tricky. In order to first believe God is true we have to believe that the Bible is true. Truth also admits that there is a fallacy. So by saying the Bible is true I am in turn saying various other religious writings or ideas are false. There is a key part of understanding here though; that truth is not judgmental. For example, it is true that gold is a precious metal and is worth more monetarily than silver. This does not mean silver is terrible and is worthless, or that gold hates silver, it’s simply the truth. The same is true when it comes to religion and ideas within religion. If the Bible is indeed true, then religions that are not based on the Bible are false. That truth does not mean that people who follow a religion that is not based on the truths of the Bible are terrible, they simply don’t know the truth. It is our privilege from God to know the truth, so my friends explore the truth The Bible says in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Does your knowledge of truth make you free?
In conclusion, we know that critical thinking is thinking critically. So, what do you believe about what you believe? In other words, why do you believe what you believe? Why do you believe the Bible is true, or why do you believe the Bible is not true? What do you believe is the process of salvation? Why do you believe that? Religion, no matter the genre, is based on an eternal premise. In short, your religious beliefs will determine eternity. Eternity this is not a trial-and-error concept, either you got it or you don’t. So I ask you to think critically about your life and your future. Critical thinking is a gift from God, use it!