Questioning: Christians Should Question Beliefs

by Mary Jo Sharp

Excerpted from “Why Do You Believe That? A Faith Conversation apologetics bible study, LifeWay Christian Resources, 2012.

“Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for people is gently shake up their presuppositions and invite them to think.” – Sue Bohlin of Probe Ministries

In 2007, I spoke at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, on the topic of “Can Truth Be Known About God?” Some of the main points included that we have a responsibility to find what is true, that it is not intolerant to say you think you have truth, and that there is truth to be known. At the end of my talk, several students asked me questions, including one gentleman who sat down with me for nearly half an hour. He was a follower of Eckhart Tolle, the main religious instructor in Oprah Winfrey’s life at that time. His main question was how I could claim to know truth at all through my thinking abilities. He said that I couldn’t know the truth about God until I got beyond my thinking abilities to the point where I experienced God as feeling; not as believing.

I said, “Can I ask you a question?” He affirmed that I could. I asked, “How do you know that you have the truth about God?” He replied, “Because I can feel it.” I asked, “But how do you know that feeling represents the truth about God?” He thought for a moment and replied, “Because it is a good feeling.” I asked, “How did you decide that good feelings are equivalent to the truth about God?” He said, “I don’t know, but it’s not something you decide by thinking about it.” I further asked, “How do you decide something if you aren’t thinking about it” and “Did you think about Eckhart Tolle’s ideas before you accepted them as true?”

I wasn’t trying to confuse the gentleman or to frustrate him, but I noticed a problem in his view of God and truth…

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