Is Christianity Anti-Intellectual?

One thing that I have found so interesting recently is the assumption by many that one cannot possibly be a Christian (or believe in God) and truly use their brain. Some of this comes from personal experience, and a lot of it comes from comments on the internet (I know, nothing good ever actually comes from the comment section).

For example, there are many times where I read a blog post or an article, often very well written with supporting arguments, and then in the comments people are going off about how the author needs to study more about the history of religions, or some philosophical argument, or that they are just plain wrong with no real reason why, etc. A couple of things usually stand out when I read such comments.

First, a blog post is just that, a blog post. It’s typically short and only so much to be said. The fact that it does not speak to every possible issue surrounding the subject it addresses should be a given.

Second, many times those posting the articles are much more highly educated than the person complaining about how the author doesn’t really know what they are talking about. If you have a PhD and the commentor has only read a couple of things on the internet about the subject, it is safe to assume the author may know a little about what they are talking about.

Third, did you actually read the article? Many times it seems like people automatically assume based on the title that what is being said must be wrong because they don’t believe it. Which usually results in a short comment about how the author is clearly wrong with no explanation as to why.

Now I admit that this post may be a bit of a rant. But because much of what I read has to do with Christianity/theology/religion etc., I come across this quite frequently. And in response I want to say this:

Having faith in Christ and using your intellect are not at all contradictory. In fact, they should work together.

If God exists and created humans with intellectual capacities, us using those abilities is not an any way some sort of “threat” to God. Yes, there are some questions that we will not be able to find answers to and which do take faith, (the same, if not much more so, is true of atheism, agnosticism, etc.) but there are real answers to many questions people do have.

To those who enjoy studying new topics and like finding answers to your questions. Christianity is anything but “anti-reason.” Some are surprised to hear this, but during my college years it was exactly my intellectual pursuits that in some ways “saved” my faith and convinced me that the God of the Bible is who the Bible claims him to be. Yes, I will always still have some questions, but my faith always only seems to grow the more that I use the intellectual abilities God has given me.

Christianity is not anti-intellectual. There are real answers to difficult questions that are not “just have more faith.” This does not mean trusting in Jesus doesn’t take faith, it certainly does, but God is not against you using the abilities he has given you to discover him. That would not be using your brain.


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