I’m sure you have heard the phrase: “Christians are closed-minded!" Usually, such statements are used to show that Christians are intolerant and unwilling to adapt to mainstream thought. Such may very well be the case, and there are definitely Christians who are reluctant to embrace new ideas, but I tend to think that Christians may be the most open-minded group of people on the planet.
For instance, a core tenant of Christian doctrine is that someone rose from the dead. The idea of a person rising from the dead violates what we know about this reality and is built on several other premises that are unprovable, like the idea that there is a God, that said God took on human form, that the human form of God died and thrust a metaphysical atonement into the universe securing believers for an eternity with Him. These are outlandish claims, to say the least. Would a closed-minded person even consider the idea of Jesus?
There are basic premises that all rational humans observe. Everyone knows how to move their body, process information, and use critical thought to problem solve. In the exploration of truth, the secular world expects that we don’t deviate from those basic premises and that we only consider that which can be observed and demonstrated. The lack of consideration of an external truth that exists beyond time and space limits an observer from even thinking about a Christian God when so much of the religion is built on extraordinary events.
Closed-mindedness is when a person refuses to look outside of their own ideology for truth. Seeing that secular people search for truth within the same framework that all people use in the physical world, in the grand scheme of things, it seems that they are restricted. It is precisely the consideration of alternative explanations that breaks someone free of closed-mindedness, of which, Christians are already doing since they both act and reason in a physical capacity yet find truth through an external means. However, this does not mean that all Christians are open minded to the fullest extent.
Many Christians refuse to acknowledge that naturalistic explanations exist. Christians are known to attribute good things to God and bad things to Satan, ignoring naturalistic explanations for misfortune and blessing. Seeing that Christians exist in the natural world, it would be a mistake to ignore the physical properties that make up the world, yet many do just that.
It would be incorrect to assume that all Christians are closed-minded. As I have shown in this article, there is a level of openness that naturally comes with considering religious matters. However, if we want our perspective on the validity of Jesus to be taken seriously, there must remain an openness to all possibilities. We should not blindly follow a church, leader, or family, but should discern what is true, using all available resources. You can learn more about this subject by clicking on the podcast link above or subscribing to The Basic Bible Podcast on iTunes or Spotify.
Caleb Jacobs is a writer and host at webasicbible.com. Caleb holds degrees from Liberty University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife live in Kentucky.