googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Loving God with our Minds: A Series in Logic. Conclusion

Friday, October 21, 2011

Loving God with our Minds: A Series in Logic. Conclusion

It's time to wrap up this series on logic. There are many more things that could be said but we've gone on long enough and I've covered the most common logical fallacies Christian apologists are likely to encounter. I'll conclude this series with a couple of more points.

First, I want to be clear about one thing. A logical fallacy is not automatic proof that a person is wrong. I came across an amusing example a while back that demonstrates how bad logic could occasionally lead to a correct answer. Look at the following:

64/16 > 64/16 > 4/1 > 4

In this mathematical expression, the person canceled out the sixes so 64/16 became 4/1 which equals 4. Ironically, 64/16 really does equal 4 but you obviously can't cancel out the sixes that way. The same approach would not work with most other fractions. It becomes frustrating, then, to explain to the person how he is wrong even though his answer is correct.

Along those same lines, while you are defending the faith against critics, sometimes they will present correct facts couched in bad arguments. If a person sprinkles in some logical fallacies in the midst of some valid arguments, we still need to address the valid points he's raised. If we do nothing but point out his errors in logic, then we are, in a way, using a red herring. You might stymie the critic into silence but you won't persuade him unless you eventually can answer legitimate concerns he has. Pointing out logical fallacies helps rid the debate of irrelevant static and allows you to have a substantive discussion.

Finally, as I said in the start of my series, Christians need to be careful with the arguments we use. One of the visitors to my blog, Steven J, left a comment detailing how he has sometimes heard Christians using logical fallacies. Sadly, he's correct. I've heard them too. It's unfortunate because we don't need to resort to such tactics. Remember, we are the ones on the solid rock. Our thinking should rest on the One who is the Author of logic.

Our job is laid out very clearly in 2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Further Reading

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

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