Christian Living

Do Christians have a bias?

Author Melinda Penner Published on 09/19/2005

Philosopher J.P. Moreland points out that when a Christian deals with issues like science and faith, or the historicity of the Gospels, it's fair to say that he's biased in that he has a point of view, like everyone else. But a Christian's bias doesn't inform his conclusions in the same way that biases inform the conclusions of a naturalistic scientist—like Carl Sagan—or a liberal critic of the Life of Christ—like Jesus Seminar's Marcus Borg. Both Sagan and Borg start out, a priori, with the idea that there either is no God or that God does not directly intervene in the machinery of the universe. Their bias arbitrarily eliminates options before the game even gets started. These men must come up with conclusions that leave God out of the picture because their philosophy demands it. There can be no evidence for a miracle—whether the miracle of creation or the miracle of the resurrection—because miracles just can't happen. A Christian is not so encumbered. He believes in the laws of nature, but is also open to the possibility of God's intervention. Both are consistent with his world view. This means that he can follow the evidence wherever it leads him, unhindered by a metaphysical view that automatically eliminates supernatural options before even viewing the evidence. The bias of the Christian broadens his categories, making him more open-minded. The believer has a greater chance of discovering truth, then, because he can follow the evidence wherever it leads, and that's the critical distinction.