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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Why Do You Believe What You Believe?

In the last week I've had conversations with two friends surrounding the question posed in the title of this post.  One was a Buddhist friend to whom I asked this question point-blank, and once he understood what I was asking, he gladly and sincerely obliged.  The other was a Catholic Christian friend.  I didn't ask him the question, but rather we were sharing our consternation over people, especially professedly "spiritual" people, and even worse professedly Christian people, not only not having an answer for this question but never having even conceived that one might be asked such a question in the first place.  In fact, it appears that people can live for decades making statements, performing actions, or affiliating with others that imply or outright state a religious conviction and never once be asked why they hold that conviction or have any clue how to answer the question once asked because they just don't know.  Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but I keep scratching my head over it.  (Then again, maybe I just need to use more shampoo.)

So for the next few posts I'm going to answer the question pertaining to myself.  It's not because my answers are especially clever or because they should be your answers.  It's more to give you a launch pad for you to consider how you might answer the question yourself, since all of us believers must be "ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess" (1 Pet. 3:15).

I actually have three ways to answer this question, each from a different angle: biographical, rational, and experiential.  I think it's valuable for each of us to be able to articulate honestly why we believe what we believe from each perspective.  Stay tuned.

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