I think the sentiment you expressed to your wife was touching, regardless of the attribution. I’m glad that it sounds like you are still going strong as a couple and living life very intentionally.

This story reminds me of one that my “Contemporary Moral Issues” professor at NCSU told years ago. He had a student, who had grown up in a literalist, fundamentalist, Christian tradition. When he went away to college, he learned things that caused him to have a crisis of faith. He realized that not everything in the Bible could literally be true. The student then shed his faith in God and religion. My professor was baffled and asked why the student couldn’t believe, as many Christian’s (Catholics and most mainline Protestants) do, in the tradition without believing every word in the Bible to be infallible. The student just couldn’t. It was either all or nothing. It’s that same mindset that sets people up for believing in a false dichotomy between science and religion. The need to compartmentalize things in very neat little boxes. Occam’s razor is useful, when applied scientifically, but it wasn’t meant to explain faith. William of Ockham himself said as much:

Only faith gives us access to theological truths. The ways of God are not open to reason, for God has freely chosen to create a world and establish a way of salvation within it apart from any necessary laws that human logic or rationality can uncover.

There are centuries of theologians, such as William of Ockham, that have made this point far better than I could. I would just urge that you not let those who would have you believe that believing in biblical inerrancy is the only way to practice Christianity be the only ones who speak for the religion. What you’ve done here is the very literal definition of a straw man argument. It’s defeating a point that most Christian’s don’t even agree to in the first place and then claiming that as a proper refutation of a philosophy that has a lot more complexity to it.

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Robert is a Christian, aspiring minimalist, software dev manager and paper airplane mechanic located in North Carolina.

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