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Part Three: “How Critical Thinking Saves Faith”

Dr. Nancy Pearcey begins this final chapter by reminding us of a biblical truth: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17). We live in the age of the internet where both good and bad information is available at the click of a mouse. Therefore, it is vital that Christians, “learn to examine both sides in order to develop ‘sales resistance’ to the many dubious ideas hawked in the media, politics, education, entertainment, and yes, churches.”[1] This seems counterintuitive to some churchgoers who would rather avoid the “world” and its various ideas. However, the best strategy to not only strengthen faith but to handle hostile worldviews is to develop the skill of critically evaluate ideas. This is where the previous chapters (derived from Romans 1) come into play: Principle #1: Identify the Idol; Principle #2: Identify the Idol’s Reductionism; Principle #3: Test the Idol: Does It Contradict What We Know about the World?; Principle #4: Test the Idol: Does It Contradict Itself?; Principle #5: Replace the Idol: Make the Case for Christianity.

Pearcey spends the rest of the chapter displaying key examples of how critical thinking can be used to assess competing worldviews. She also casts an analytical eye on the church, arguing that a Romans 1 approach can be used to investigate claims in theology. She writes, “Virtually every form of theology has been influenced to some degree by philosophy.”[2] For example, in the past few centuries, Hegelian idealism, Marxism, and feminism have deeply influenced the theology of many, recasting their identities from believers in God to the oppressed in society. All of these philosophies have essentially “redefined classical Christian theology in the shape of an idol-based philosophy;”[3] one that cannot function in terms of providing total truth. But true Christianity is total truth, it is the best explanation for the way things are and, thus, should be properly understood and, utilizing the Romans 1 model, held up for all other worldviews to compare.

*Dr. Nancy Pearcey is a professor of Christian Worldview and Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, a fellow at the Discovery Institute, and editor of The Pearcey Report. Please do yourself a favor and buy her excellent book here!

[1] Nancy Pearcey, Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes (Colorado Springs: David Cook, 2015), 254.

[2] Ibid, 265.

[3] Ibid, 270.

Speaker, Educator, President of A Clear Lens, Inc. and host of A Clear Lens Podcast. B.Sc., M.Ed. Lives in Las Vegas with his wife, two sons, and dogs.