Christianity is Un intellectual And other Myths about the Christian Faith

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Christianity is Un intellectual And other Myths about the Christian Faith. Dr. Luke Conway October 2011. Christianity is Un intellectual And other Myths about the Christian Faith. Dr. Luke Conway October 2011. Three Myths about the Christian Faith. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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When Social Psychological Axioms Fail:

Dr. Luke ConwayOctober 2011

Christianity is Unintellectual And other Myths about the Christian Faith

Dr. Luke ConwayOctober 2011

Christianity is Unintellectual And other Myths about the Christian Faith

Christianity is Unintellectual (or: Im going to have to check my brain at the door to be a Christian)Christianity is Unquestioned Assent to Authority (or: Im going to have to believe God is a giant frog if they tell me to)Christianity is for the Simple-Minded (or: People will confuse me with George W. Bush if I become a Christian)

Three Myths about the Christian FaithIntellectualism = Development and exercise of the intellect.Christianity does oppose two things related to intellectualism:It opposes intellectual elitism: The belief that being smart makes you better than those less smart.It opposes intellectual singularity: The belief that intellectual development is more important than relationships, love, and mercy.But: All decent people oppose THAT sort of intellectual snobbery. (Only evil people and lunatics believe those two things.)Here we are just talking about the pursuit of truth through intellectual means does Christianity oppose that? Are you going to have to check your brain at the door?Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualThe idea that Christianity is unintellectual is simply a stereotype that is mostly opposed to history.Exhibit ALook around you: This university system that we use was created almost entirely by Christians.From Wikipedia:The earliest universities were developed under the aegis of the western church, usually from cathedral schools or by papal bull as studia generalia.Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualExhibit BChristianity has produced some of the smartest intellectuals that have ever lived across a shockingly large percentage of intellectual disciplines.Im going to show you some lists of people in the Christian philosophy club.Criteria for inclusion on the list.Sources:Will Durants book The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All TimeMichael H. Hart's book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. http://4mind4life.com/blog/2008/03/30/list-of-geniuses-top-50-influential-minds/

Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualScientists/Mathematicians who were Christians: Gregor Mendel: Founder of modern genetics; top 100 most influential; on a postage stampMichael Faraday: Electromagnetic theory; Faraday effect; on a UK postage stamp; top 100 most influential; top 50 thinkers William Thomas Kelvin: Invented the Kelvin system of temperature measurementGeorge Stokes: Stokes LawMax Planck: Founder of quantum theory; Nobel prize 1918; top 100 most influential; on a postage stampJames Clerk Maxwell: Poll showed him to be 3rd most influential physicist of all time, behind Einstein and Newton; Top 100 most influential; on a postage stamp; Einstein said of his work that it was the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton. He had pictures of Maxwell and Faraday on his desk, along with Newton.Robert Boyle: Founder of modern Chemistry; Boyles law; on a UK postage stamp; top 50 thinkersBlaise Pascal: Contributor to much modern mathematics; on a postage stamp; top 50 thinkers

Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualScientists/Mathematicians who were Christians: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: Guy who invented calculus; on a postage stamp; top 50 thinkersFrancis Bacon: Founder of scientific method; on a postage stamp; top 100 most influentialJohn Polkinghorne: Cambridge professor of mathematical physicsFrancis Collins: Head of Genome Project; won Presidential Medal of Freedom for his scientific work highest civilian honor; current NIH director for Obama administration; Obama says one of the top scientists in the world; named one of GQ magazines Rock Stars of ScienceDaniel Tammett: Holds world record for memorizing Pi digits; top 50 thinkersWerner Heisenberg: 1932 Nobel Prize for physics; founder of quantum mechanics; Heisenberg uncertainty principle; top 100 most influential; on a postage stamp; said, the first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you."James Prescott Joule: Joules Law of energy, thermodynamics

Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualScientists/Mathematicians who were Christians: Louis Pasteur: One of the founders of Microbiology; top 100 most influential people; on a postage stamp; guy had a ship named after him in Star Trek, for crying out loud!Johannes Kepler: One of the most famous astronomers ever; Keplers laws of planetary motion; on a postage stampThe Wright Brothers: Inventor of airplane; on a postage stamp; top 100 most influential.Antoine Laurent Lavoisier: Father of modern chemistry; on a French postage stamp; top 100 most influential.John Dalton: Contributed to atomic theory and colorblindness research; has a unit of atomic measurement named after him AND the French word for color-blindness; top 100 most influentialAntony van Leeuwenhoek: On a Dutch postage stamp; top 100 most influentialGuglielmo Marconi: Inventor of radio; on a UK postage stamp; top 100 most influentialAlexander Fleming: Discovered penicillin; on a postage stamp; top 100 most influential

Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualScientists/Mathematicians who were Christians: Joseph Lister: Founder of antiseptic surgery; on a postage stamp in UK; top 100 most influentialEdward Jenner: Discovered smallpox vaccine; on a postage stamp in UK; top 100 most influentialLeonhard Euler: Mathematics; introduced a lot of mathematical terminology; Eulers number; on a Swiss postage stampThomas Malthus: Sociologist and economist who influenced Darwin; founder of demography; top 100 most influentialGeorge Washington Carver: On a U.S. stamp; promoter of alternative crop practices and inventor of peanut butterDavid Livingstone: Geographer of Africa; fellow of prestigious Royal Geographical Society of London; on a UK postage stampSamuel Morse: Inventor of telegraph; on a U.S. stampAutumn Conway: Future famous astronomer

Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualLiterary/Artistic figures who were Christians:J.R.R. Tolkien: Won two best British books ever polls in heathen Great Britain!Jane Austen: On a postage stamp; was second (to Tolkien) for best British book ever in BBC pollC. S. Lewis: Several best-selling novels, including #8 on best British books ever BBC pollThomas More: Wrote UtopiaDante: One of top 10 poets of all time (from Will Durants The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All time); on a postage stampG. K. Chesterton: George Benard Shaw: The world is not thankful enough for Chesterton; T.S. Eliot: Chesterton deserves a permanent place in our loyalty.Beethoven: On a postage stamp; top 100 most influential; top 50 geniusesBach: On a postage stamp; top 100 most influential; top 50 geniusesMozart: On a postage stampMyth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualLiterary/Artistic figures who were Christians:John Donne: For whom the bell tolls no man is an islandAnne Bradstreet: First woman poet published in England or U.S.George Herbert: Famous English poetJohn Milton: On a Russian postage stampElizabeth Barrett Browning: English poet; Sonnets of the PortugueseSamuel Johnson: Dictionary influenced English language; arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; on a UK postage stamp; top 50 most influentialMyth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualPhilosophers who were Christians:William of Ockham: Ockhams razor, separation of Church and StateSoren Kierkegaard: On a postage stamp; founded existential philosophyGeorge Berkeley: On a postage stamp; top 50 thinkersSt. Thomas Aquinas: On a postage stamp; top 10 thinkers of all timeRene Descartes: Founded Analytic Geometry; On a postage stamp; top 100 most influential; top 50 thinkersAlvin Plantinga: Emeritus Notre Dame ProfessorMartin Luther: On a postage stamp; top 50 thinkers

Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualA vote-counting summary:Christian intellectuals on a Top thinkers/most influential list: 22Christian intellectuals with Laws, Measurements, or Principles named after them: 11Christian intellectuals who founded a field of science or philosophy: 12Christian intellectuals who invented something that directly impacts your life: 8Christian intellectuals who are on a postage stamp: 30Christian intellectuals who are in the top 2 of best British books ever: 2Christian intellectuals Einstein had pictures of on his desk: 2Christian intellectuals who hold the world record for memorizing Pi: 1Christian intellectuals who Berkeley, California was named after: 1Christian intellectuals with Star Trek ships named after them: 1

Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualOf course, lots of atheists win Nobel prizes too, and the majority of scientists today are not religious.My larger point: History teaches Christianity is compatible with intellectualism. If you are a thinking person who thinks Christianity is unintellectual, then you should ponder these honest questions: Why have Christians founded so many intellectual disciplines? Why have Christians produced so much intellectual work that is recognized by almost everybody to be of incredibly high quality?Why did intellectual enterprises such as modern science largely grow in societies dominated by Christians?Myth #1 Christianity is UnintellectualThings are not always what they seem. Myth #2: Christianity Means Unquestioned Assent to AuthorityIt may seem like Christianity is unintellectual to you, but actually Christianity has produced the university system and a HUGE number of intellectuals that virtually everyone would say are rockin geniuses. Why, then, does this myth persist?Partially because of modern American Christians (I can see you from here, Pat Robertson!).But partially because people have a stereotyp