Why Don’t Intelligent People Believe in Christianity?

By | December 26, 2005

In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul tells them, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” (1:18) It’s true, if you take a step back and look at it, it is crazy—claiming to follow an executed criminal, and saying that he’s not actually dead. And that’s just the beginning: we claim his was mother was a virgin and that he lives in us, etc. All of this are things that doesn’t happen. I don’t believe that faith is anti-intellectual, however mere logic won’t lead one to Christ.

In the modern era, when science and reason became the bastions of truth (as opposed to the church), the church at first fought against them. However, after a certain amount of time, some Christians believed that science and reason could be used to convince people of the truths that the church claims, and thus Christian apologetics was birthed. While apologist do have a lot of good points, one can still not prove Christianity. There may be much evidence to support it, nonetheless it’s still a matter of faith. One problem though is that Christianity of this sort was simply a belief system, and potentially little more. I think that this clouded the heart of the Christian faith, by making it a faith of the mind and not of the heart.

In the postmodern era reason and science started to crumble as pillars of truth. While they still hold some weight, it’s not always enough to convince people of something. People need to see it in action, see it work in the way it’s supposed to. Christianity can no longer be about detached arguments and persuasive evidence, it must interact with where people are at and with the issues they face in their actual lives. I think that many people don’t believe in Christ today because the church isn’t being the church.

Traditional debate on evangelism has typically centered around the question: should one witness more through words or actions? However, I believe that it has a flaw. In either case, it is based on a single individual—how does one as a single individual evangelize? While there is certainly a context for personal witness, I think it must come in a broader context. I think the church needs to start acting like the church is supposed to act. I believe that if we were doing that, we’d have people coming to us en mass to find out what was going on. I believe that personal evangelism will really make sense in that context.

What I’m getting at is this, I feel a lot of people don’t consider Christianity, because it doesn’t seem to be working. It is said we should be known by our love, first for fellow believers, and secondly for those in need outside of the church. However, it is often the case that we are known more for what we stand against than for how we love. I believe that most people today don’t reject Christianity on an intellectual basis, but on a more existential one.

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