Fill in the blank:
Right now the greatest challenge to my faith is _____________.
Our Christian walks are full of ups and downs, aren’t they? Seldom does a day go by when something isn’t weighing heavily on our minds. Of course that shouldn’t be a surprise: this is an imperfect world, and Jesus told us to expect tribulation (John 16:33).
One issue that I’m struggling with these days is this:
how should we handle
conventional human knowledge?
We say the Bible is our ultimate authority, but is that true? These days, isn’t the internet more authoritative?
I suspect I’m not the only one wrestling with this.
Take Wikipedia, for example—the fifth most-visited website in the world. Seems like it has an answer for nearly everything. And those answers don’t always line up with traditional interpretations of the Bible. For instance:
- How old is the universe? 13.8 billion years.
- How old is Earth? 4.5 billion years.
- Was the Earth created first, and then the Sun? Um, no.
- Where did the different species of life come from? Gradual evolution.
- Where did we come from? Primates.
- How long have humans been around? 300,000 years.
- What about the Genesis creation account? It’s a myth.
- Were Adam and Eve real people? Nope.
- Did Jesus rise from the dead? Maybe not.
- Are the gospel accounts accurate? It’s complicated.
You get the idea.
Does this kind of stuff bother you? It does me. Because it’s not like Wikipedia was put together by some atheist bent on attacking Christianity. No, these articles were written and reviewed and critiqued by collaborators from all different backgrounds. And each one of those articles is backed up by dozens (sometimes hundreds) of references—most of which were written by people with more expertise in their fields than you or I will ever have.
So what do we do about that?
What should we do when we look something up and realize our beliefs contradict the consensuses of knowledgeable experts?
It seems like we have three options:
Assume those experts are wrong (maybe they’re basing their arguments on bad logic or faulty assumptions). Dismiss information that doesn’t line up with our interpretations of the Bible.
Continue following Christ, but adjust our worldviews to line up with reality—even if that’s humbling. Where necessary, interpret the Bible differently.
Leave the Christian faith. Decide that it’s illogical, unreasonable, and not worth holding on to. Embrace agnosticism, atheism, or some other religion.
When I was young, I was all in for option #1. Now I’m teetering between #2 and #3. Definitely hoping for #2, but struggling with a gut intuition that #3 is more reasonable.
Maybe all this hits close to home for you; maybe you can personally relate. Or maybe you can’t. Maybe these questions aren’t something you think about much.
But no matter what you or I are struggle with, whether it’s tough questions or doubts or something else, I’m encouraged by this thought: the gospel is all about Christ’s finished work on the cross.
What He did, not what we do.
Therefore our salvation is not based on the firmness of our convictions or our ability to overcome doubts. It’s based on Christ’s merits—not ours.
When it’s all said and done, God doesn’t want to hear us confidently say:
“God, guess what? I figured it all out—everything makes sense!”