I remember once asking my wife why it is that I sometimes feel more comfortable talking to atheists than I do with fellow Christians. I then realized that it is because atheists often care more about evidence and reason than most Christians do. As Brett Kunkle explains in this featured article:
"Christians tend to talk in terms of feelings and emotions. Atheists tend to talk in terms of science and rationality. "
Now, it should be stated that historic Christianity has always been a rational and intellectually robust worldview and that it is only in recent years that it has become so emotional and feeling driven. Whether you agree with their theology or not, the faith of Calvin, Luther and Aquinas was well thought-out and passionately defended.
As Kunkle explains about the state of the church today:
"The church has succumbed to a culture that has cordoned off Christianity from all areas of knowledge and reason. Instead, we are relegated to the outskirts of personal private faith, which can only draw upon the resources of feelings and experience. The language Christians use betrays this very fact."
For more details on how the church has retreated from the life of the mind, I recommend J.P. Moreland's Loving God with All Your Mind.
So, how can we begin to turn the tide? Kunkle offers the following practical suggestion:
"It’s time to talk differently. A first step is to pay careful attention to your language. How do you talk about Christianity? Do you merely employ language of feelings and sentiments? Start using cognitive-oriented terms. Talk more about knowledge than faith. Indeed, the New Testament does just that, as knowledge is referenced almost twice as much as faith. Of course, we’re not eliminating talk of faith, just offering a biblical balance."
Amen! And as I have suggested here, Christians need to learn a new language!
You can read Brett's full article here and I highly recommend his ministry.
Courage and Godspeed,