The Benefit of the Doubt

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

The Importance of an Open Mind that Closes

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Minds Were Made to Shut We typically think having an open mind is a good thing. And in certain situations, it certainly is a good thing. For example, we should have an open mind when we are beginning an inquiry. If we have no settled views on some matter, then it would be quite foolish […]

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Religious Pluralism and the Myth of Inclusivity

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Perhaps the most attractive part of Religious Pluralism (RP)—the notion there are many ways to God—is its supposed inclusivism. Religions are not exactly known for coming together on almost anything. If the major religions can come together under the big tent of RP, then this would be, it seems, a good thing. But is RP […]

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The Polyamorous God?

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Polyamory and the Church Chuck McKnight thinks it’s time for the church to talk about polyamory. So he’s dedicated a series of posts on his blog, Hippie Heretic, to the discussion. If you are not clear what polyamory even is, you are probably not alone. One of McKnight’s worries is that other LGBT issues have […]

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Doubt That Is Toxic for Faith

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Doubts Over the last few years, I’ve been known to say things like “doubt is a good thing for Christian faith” and I go on to explain that doubts can lead to truth and an even greater faith. But about 1/3 of Christians initially react to my saying this with a distinct look of horror […]

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How to Doubt and Have Faith without Exploding

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An experience of intellectual doubt is often taken by Christians to be a sign of weak faith. I argue, however, that an encounter with doubt, when treated properly, is extremely valuable, since it can lead to knowledge and an even greater faith. To see this, it’s important to understand the nature of doubt. Intellectual doubt […]

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The (Morally Appropriate) Jealousy of God

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The Bible in no uncertain terms describes God as jealous. In fact, God himself proclaims: You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God (Exodus 20:5) This, it seems, is grist for the New Atheist hostility mill. What?! You think God is jealous? In the words […]

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Are atheists committed to a world without moral facts?

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Christian Apologists often say that without God there would be no such thing as morality. But the obvious counterexample to this is the many moral philosophers who are not theists but are moral realists (that is, they posit the existence of moral facts). What’s going on here? Are all these professional philosophers just blind to […]

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CS Lewis and Believing in the Sun Rise

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C.S. Lewis once said: I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. Even though this is one of my all-time favorite C.S. Lewis quotes, I’m a bit embarrassed to say I’ve never looked closely at the context […]

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Permission to doubt your faith (video)

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The church often treats doubt as if it is a necessarily bad thing. It may not be enjoyable. But, in this video, I argue that doubt is instrumentally good because it, when treated properly, can lead to truth. I can even lead to a greater faith.

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Is Christianity doubt-able?: Certainty vs. Confidence

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As a last step in becoming a member of his local church, a friend of mine was interviewed by the pastor and asked whether he was certain that Christianity was true. Because my friend was a philosopher, he said no and a long discussion ensued. Certainty Do we enjoy certainty when it comes to our […]

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