Arguing Is Good

Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30). Loving God with the mind is not a passive process. It's not just having thoughts about God. Rather, it's coming to conclusions about God and His world based on revelation, observation, and careful thinking.

Both a process and a skill are involved. There is a way that thinking works. It’s a tool that needs to be employed properly. What is the tool we use in our observations of the world that help us separate fact from fiction? That tool is reason, the ability to use our minds well to sort through observations and draw accurate conclusions about what is true. Rationality is the tool God has given us to acquire knowledge.

Generally, this is not a solitary enterprise. It's best done in the company of others who can challenge our claims and offer competing ideas, forcing us to think deeply and thoroughly. In short, we argue. Sometimes we are silent partners, listening, not talking, but the process is going on in our minds just the same.

The ability to argue well is the essence of all clear thinking. That's why arguments are good things--arguing is a virtue because it helps us discover what's true.

This is not rationalism, a kind of idolatry of the mind that places man's thinking at the center of the universe. Rather, it's the proper use of the faculties God has given us to understand Him and the world He's made.

And that’s why arguing when properly understood and practiced is a good thing, not a bad thing.

quick thought |
Greg Koukl