The Truth About Religious Skepticism

Skepticism permeates modern culture. The most consistent and popular application of skepticism is religious skepticism. “We cannot prove God exists” is the common refrain. In fact, of the many unwritten social codes enforced by our culture, one of the strongest is the impropriety of claiming that Christianity is objectively true. Such a claim is an affront: a social faux pas at best and a mean spirited attack at worst. After all, agnosticism is cool; truth is not.

Should we follow the God of the Bible? Of particular importance when a person faces this question is the role of the will: he must decide whether he wants to live a life subject to God or whether he wants to pursue the enticements of the world.

What is striking about this particular question—whether to follow the God of the Bible—is that everyone does decide. Even the agnostic decides, though he may deny it. In fact, I am convinced that the rise of skepticism in our culture is a symptom of the will to unbelief. People do not want to be subject to God; they want autonomy to create their own reality. What better justification for denying one’s dependence on God than to claim that it is impossible to know if the Bible is true?

Skepticism is an inadequate general outlook on knowledge. It denies our God-given abilities. (We are born as truth-detectors, and we are very good at it.) It denies our daily experience. No doubt there are some questions that cannot be answered, and there are some questions that are not worth the effort to answer. Everyone acknowledges this. However, the skepticism that has pervaded our culture goes beyond this. It is often used as an excuse for not having to deal with the truth. We Christians, though, desire the truth, and thus we should struggle to resist the pessimism of skepticism.


[This edited excerpt is from “Truth Detectors” by Chris Swanson. To read the original article, click here. More about Gutenberg College here. Or check us out on Facebook.]


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