Comments 25

Critical Thinking Deflates Faith?


In the study, published Friday in the journal Science, researchers from Canada’s University of British Columbia used subtle stimuli to encourage analytical thinking. Results from the study found that analytical thinking could decrease religious belief.

What do you think?

Picture: via cnn

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There are three things I think about every moment of everyday... they consume me deeply. How to: 1. Refine my theological understanding 2. sharpen my ethical rigor 3. and heighten my devotional intensity. These are the things I write about. Welcome you to my blog... Join me on this incredible journey of exploration and discovery of all the things God has in store for His children. Join by following or subscribing. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and friendship. Walter


  1. Hello and thanks for stopping by. This is a very good topic – one that my husband and I have discussed many times, as have my best friend and I. I like what you said about loving God with all our mind is to love God through our thinking. How can we NOT love God through our thinking?? Part of loving someone is to think about them, to ponder their qualities, to want to understand them more and more. And thinking naturally includes analyzing. I’ll be checking back on your postings – they make me think!!


  2. Caddo Veil says

    Hi Walter! Maybe I’m not understanding the connotation of the terms–what I do believe is that God/Jesus are not hoping we’ll leave our brains on a bench when we come to church, or enter into private prayer and fellowship. God bless you~~sis Caddo


    • Sister Caddo, you are absolutely right. In fact I find it a little insulting when people do studies like the one in question to suggest that Christians don’t think. I believe that true faith requires thinking, reasoning and rationality (Matthew 6). And I do it all the time when I go to church, read my bible and go to my prayer closet. Thanks for the observation.


  3. Interesting. I’m as analytical as they come, and am a strong believer in Christ. However, I think that the way a study is set up often determines its outcome. Wouldn’t be surprised if the “critical” part of critical thinking here was prejudiced in favor of “doubt.”


  4. All I can say is the Bible is so rich. No matter how many times I read it, each time something new pops out at me. I think God wants us to use our analytical minds to discover Him even more…to explore the depths that He has given us access to here.

    Side note: I’ve always thought scientists use of the word ‘discover’ to be interesting. It is not the same thing as ‘create’. ‘Discover’ is to become aware…to notice or recognize something already there.


  5. That’s an awesome topic to put forth for discussion, Walter. Very good responses. I’m reminded of Piper’s ‘Think.’ In the end, all knowledge is Jesus’ knowledge… 2 + 2 = 4 is God’s knowledge. He simply chose to share it with us. Our challenge is to continue to absorb all He shares, then allow it to become more than just knowledge… wisdom that brings glory to His name. You say it well in your April 28th 12:59am comment! Thanks for the challenging thoughts, good friend. God bless.


  6. The responds to the question is awesome. I do think there is some measure of truth
    to the study, in that many are overwhelm by the so-called evidences put before them with regard to faith, and they simple shut down. Christian Coping with Suicide mention that ” most of western thought until the 18th century was an intellectual support of Christianity”

    There is also a level of anti-intellectualism, plus fear that is causing hurt to the Church, and the world feeds upon that. Again each Church denominational make
    up is different in relation to the local Congregation.

    What Eugene said is true.” If a person is’t thinking analytically with the bible, they’re
    not studying” and it is more than on emotional high. In all this faith must hold true, brother and sister. God bless..


  7. goodnewsjunkie says

    I’m nearing the end of a philosophy degree which if anything has enhanced my faith. But the amount of times people have assumed that ‘analytic thinking’ actually means ‘trying to disprove Christianity’ is alarming. I don’t know whether it’s a deep seated anti-intellectualism in the church, or whether people are just a bit scared of questions, but one thing’s for sure. I’m scared. Very scared that people are following Christ blindly and have never let themselves question why. What happens when other people want to know why they should bother?

    There are a million wonderful reasons to follow Christ, and I’ve yet to find a decent reason not to. A bit of sensible, prayerful thinking will often strengthen faith, not decrease it. 🙂

    Good post, and good question. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog the last few months.


    • What a great input! Thank you for that! I am glad to hear you’ve enjoyed reading my articles. Thank you much! You have a wonderful blog as well… And I enjoy my visits all the time. Well, I guess I’ll see you on you blog?.. God bless!


    • Any form of anti intellectualism is unacceptable in Christianity. Too many Christians have ceded intellectual thought to secular world. I think they are afraid that Christianity is undefendable which is clearly not true. Most of western thought until the 18th century was an intellectual support of Christianity.


  8. If a person isn’t thinking analytically with the Bible they’re not studying it the way it is meant to be studied to find the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-6; 2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11).

    The Bible is not a book for the “educated” mind, but it is a book for the “thinking” mind (1 Corinthians 1:23-31).

    I encourage anyone who “thinks” that Christianity dissolves when a person begins to “think seriously” about what the scriptures say to keep in mind that some of the “greatest minds” in human history loved to study the book and held it to be objective truth. Not that this alone gives creedence to the scriptures – they speak for themselves (Hebrews 4:12).


  9. As I’ve gotten more into Christian apologetics, I’ve realized how widespread and deeply held naturalistic (ie., the supernatural is impossible) assumptions are in the population. My guess as to the study’s results is that when people are stirred to think, they are dusting off and activating their mistaken beliefs that everything must have a purely naturalistic explanation.


  10. arm5 says

    Yes, I do believe it does because it can produce doubt in a believer who is not strong in their beliefs.


    • That is true! A lot of kids in our universities question their faith and others simply fall away. That’s why it is important to get them grounded before they venture into that world! Thanks for the comment… Much appreciated and welcomed!


  11. Theology in the Middle Ages was called “Faith Seeking Undertanding.” Anselm and Bonaventure were if anything too analytical. My degree is in math and I study particle physics for fun in retirement. I find many difficult issues but none of them conflict with my faith. They prove it. God is an awesome God who knowledge proves to be greater than anything could ever imaging.


  12. The Mind is the seat of the intellect. Luke 10:27; Hebrews 11:3.

    To love God with all the mind is to love God through our thinking. Hebrews 11:3 says by faith we ‘understand’. What does it mean – “by faith we understand?” It means – “by faith we think.” Faith is not inconsistent with thinking. Sometimes we see faith as purely mystical. But true faith requires thinking, reasoning and rationality (Matthew 6). I understand that there are some things you just can’t explain, but I am deeply offended when our culture tells me that because I believe in the Bible I have surrendered my ability to think. On the contrary, the gospel changes the way you think about everything in life. It changes the way you think about money, power, success, people and even yourself.


    • Faith is such an amazing thing, in that all you have to do is have it. And I agree wholeheartedly that faith (in Christ) changes the way we operate, in every area of our lives. Being ‘mindful’ of the things of God is indeed walking by faith. Thanks for the thought Walter.


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