The Benefit of the Doubt

A blog about Dialogue, Doubts, and Christian Faith ~Travis Dickinson~

Apologetics is Unassuming

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There’s considerable debate on just what apologetics is or at least what it’s supposed to be. A typical definition is something along the lines of this: Apologetics is the defense of Christian beliefs. But the problem with this definition is this doesn’t uniquely pick out the discipline. After all, the systematic theologian seems to be […]

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Does Evidence Take Away from the Bible’s Authority?

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Authority Issues Christians have always been extremely wary of holding anything, such as philosophy or “reason” or evidence, as an authority over Scripture. It is sometimes argued that if one appeals to something as a reason to believe Scripture, then that thing becomes one’s authority. But, for the Christian, nothing can stand in authority over […]

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The Value of Being Dogmatic in Our Faith

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For some, I’d be the last guy you’d expect to be extolling the value of dogmatism. On this blog, I typically urge the value of doubt and questioning our faith. I do always try to be careful to say that doubt is not good in itself. It has value, but the value comes when we […]

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The Radical Miracle of Christmas

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The Craziness of the Christmas Claims And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1:14a) On the scale of crazy, this claim is tops. There’s no doubt that the Gospels trade in the extraordinary throughout Jesus’s earthly ministry. Walking on water, multiplying fishes and loaves, and even raising folks from the dead are […]

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Did Jesus Himself Have Faith?

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The Bible calls us to faith. Many Christian thinkers have seen faith as a moral virtue. At the same time, the Bible pictures Jesus as our moral exemplar. He’s the example after whom we should model our lives. What’s curious is the Bible never says that Jesus had faith. It would be odd if our […]

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Are Christian Beliefs Properly Basic?

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Properly basic beliefs If you have hung around philosophical discussions about God and Christianity, then at some point you’ve likely heard someone bring up the notion of a belief’s being “properly basic.” It can often sound like the Christian who employs this concept is simply helping him or herself to some wild claim without offering […]

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God Stands Behind It All

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Having recently completed a discussion of Plato’s Republic with a terrific group of college students, I am once again reminded of its beauty and depth. When teaching the Republic, I am always struck by the seemingly innocent back and forth of the dialogue that inevitably entices us straight into discussing life’s deepest issues. I am […]

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God Never Requires Us to Believe without Evidence

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In his An Essay on the Divine Authority of the New Testament (1804), 19th Century theologian, David Bogue once said: God never requires us to believe without evidence: but where sufficient evidence is given, he is highly and justly displeased at men’s unbelief.[1] Is this right? Does God ever require us to believe without evidence? […]

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Faith and Doubt: Friends or Foes? (TV interview)

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Are faith and doubt in conflict? Can one have faith while doubting? I argue that these are not necessarily in conflict and that doubt can (somewhat ironically) produce greater faith. Here’s the interview: Thanks to Truth Matters at Ratio Christi TV

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4 Steps to Help Kids Ask Questions Stuck in their Heads

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Every survey and researcher says that students have a lot of questions about their faith. This seems to essentially define Millennials and Gen Y from older generations. Whereas older generations were content with certain presuppositions about faith, youth today are suspicious and often doubtful of these things. But here’s a funny thing. I get the […]

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