Steve Evans once wrote a little book on existentialism with the intriguing title Despair: a Moment or a Way of Life? That poses the options nicely. Is critical thinking about religion a moment or a way of life? I cherish it as a moment, as a necessary exercise that at least some of us ought to engage in periodically. But to make it a way of life—that is what postmodernism at its worst is all about.
This has important implications for theological education. Are we educating men and women to be critical thinkers? Well, yes, of course. But the critical thinking thing must be a moment—a necessary exercise—in the service of a larger process. And the larger goal is not simply to produce critical thinkers, but to equip persons who are faithful to the truth of the gospel. Some of us must engage in critical thinking in order to be effective in encouraging God’s people to be faithful, both to the biblical message and to all that is good and worthy in the Christian traditions that we have received.
Labels: Christianity and Culture