Belief in a true religion is seen as absurd because the coming of age, the age of globalization, and the validity of how similar religions are (seems to be by the way), as well as science being a well mannered position of thinking about the way the world is and that God’ at best is just an idea made in the tool shed of the pre-modern man.
To hold to a position that is dogmatic about faith is being insensitive and may lead (or others might argue, will lead) to unnecessary arguments and the possibility of wars.
So on the onset, if one wants to believe in a religion, one must say that it’s something that one believes personally to be true and might not be the same case for others. If one seeks to talk to others about the religious it must always cover general kind of issues and not sensitive ones. Talk about how good one religion is and agree on that. This sound like a statement harboring to a utopia that will lead to peace. Those who hold to pluralism, see this way as being the way forward.
One the other spectrum, science on the other hand easily debunks the reasonable argument for faiths. Spirituality cannot be put under the microscope, be tested in laboratory and all that. Science on the other hand is what people learn in school and what people see to be the consensus of what people take in as fact. Enough said. Science in making their rational view thus shames the believing people.
By all this coming to the fray, the Christian thus has difficulty in maintaining confidence in their faith as well as pose a rational argument for what they believe. Is there a possible approach to deal with these issues?
Well let me thus propose some suggestions:
1. The fact of pluralism in itself, that the person believing this position is the best (if not the only one) that would lead to global peace. But in making that statement, that pluralism is the way and thus arguing one this belief makes one dogmatic in a sense. They downplay the belief of others that hold to a position that their faith is true and tell these people they are dumb. But it seems the pluralist is the one who is rigid. Who believes that their way is the only way. For a true pluralist, would not argue a position or anything for that matter. They would be happy with one who want to believe what they want and simply claps and be happy with their position. With this we can state that at best the pluralist is as dogmatic as the radical Christian who says that Jesus is Lord.
2. On matters pertaining to science, one knows that facts though being there needs someone using their minds to the best of their capability to make interpretations of those ‘facts’ and come up with a concluding point in what these facts actually state to people about things pertaining to life. Well, one can argue that what makes the person’s interpretation of facts as valid because it is still prone to fall under the wrong interpretation. And also do all hold to a fact by being able to make their own judgments by them? I reckon only a professional mind would be able to decipher these things and make them available to the normal people. Science, although being reasonable has it’s faltering points too.
3. So, with that we as Christians can and should hold to our faith with all its confining dogma. If there are matters that can be resolved by reason, then by all means use them. But, the fact is that, Christianity is not something that one can reason on any grounds with. There are stuff that runs contrary to reason. So, for me, a 100% reasonable faith is not possible. There will always be contradicting issues but we hold to the fact that in Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s covenant with man. In Jesus is the fact in which we hold to. We simply proclaim what we believe. And we must expect receptivity or opposition. Everyone is given the right to push our beliefs away. But we still must incorporate proclamation or conversation. With that, instead of arguing Christianity with reasonable facts why not hold on to the fact of Christ- his life, work, death and resurrection. By definition, the way one holds to that fact lies in how they live that fact out through their life and the communities that they participate in.
I must say that these views that I’ve written are a development from reading Newbigin’s book “The Gospel in a Plurist Society.”