Many Christians’ faith exists as a loose collection of unexamined clichés and slogans borrowed from songs, devotional books, sermon illustrations, and even the internet. Too often this belief system (if it can be called a “system”) lacks coherence and intelligibility; it can hardly be expressed, let alone defended, to others. The problem with folk religion is that it too easily withers under the onslaughts of secularism or seemingly reasonable answers provided by cults and new religions.
Christianity has a long tradition of intellectual examination of other faiths and its own beliefs. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living; great Christian minds of all the ages have believed the unexamined faith is not worth believing. Reflective Christianity is Christian faith that has subjected itself to the rigorous questioning of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. It is mature Christian faith that goes on believing even as it questions what it believes.
The goal of this book is not to destroy anyone’s faith but to build it up by placing it on a firmer foundation of critical examination. Ten popular Christian clichés are subjected to critical inquiry and interrogated to discover whether they contain truth or are in error. In most cases the conclusion is both. The aim is not to tear down straw men but to demonstrate a path toward stronger, more mature Christian belief.
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