Acknowledging Your Bias
Any time that two or more people have a discussion about anything, it is important to be aware of what we call presuppositions - those things we suppose to be true prior to the initiation of any deliberation. For instance, if you and I were to discuss the merits of owning one automobile as opposed to another, it would be helpful for you to know I presuppose Chrysler products are the best choice. On the other hand you may pre-suppose Ford is the best auto maker. Presuppositions color our every thought, even in areas where we claim to have no existing opinion. This is the case because each of us has core beliefs that dictate how we will view any subject. This is never more apparent than in the discussion of religious convictions.
© 10.28.10 By D. Eric Williams
Every true Christian presupposes the Bible (the Old and New Testaments), is the inspired, infallible Word of God. It is the standard by which all other information is judged or understood. This idea is accepted by Christians before any debate or discussion even begins. In the minds of many people this proves Christians are narrow minded, bigoted Yahoos. However, if we step back and take a honest look at the situation we see that those who disagree with the Christian presupposition concerning the Bible are firmly holding to their own prejudices. In other words, who is to say it is more reasonable to disbelieve the Bible than to believe it? The point is, those who claim to be open minded while rejecting the validity of the Bible out of hand are no less biased than the Christian who accepts the Bible as absolute truth.
Try as they might, the opponents of the Bible have never been able to show any historical, scientific or cultural inaccuracies in the Christian Scriptures. Charges of prophetic inaccuracy and internal contradiction have also been shown to miss the mark. Moreover, the Bible's accurate understanding of human nature has been recognized even by many of its critics. Mind you, this isn't an attempt to convince the skeptic; I'm simply pointing out that presupposing the truth of the Bible is not irrational, bigoted nor narrow minded. Recognizing the Bible as absolute truth provides one with a stable platform for conducting a rational discussion on any topic. Indeed, the ability of the Bible to withstand hundreds of years of attack places the burden of proof upon those who presuppose the Bible to be a book of myth rather than absolute truth.
The bottom line is, everyone chooses a core set of beliefs by which all other information is judged. Don't be fooled by the "unbiased" or "tolerant" person who ridicules Christian people for their narrow minded embrace of the Bible. If that's the way we define narrow minded, then the one who is predisposed to reject the Bible is equally narrow minded. Rather than toss intellectual grenades at one another, we would do well to examine - and then defend - our chosen presuppositions. That's the first step to arriving at truth. Next week: Who - or What - is God?