The Counsel of Trent

writing is thinking

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Coleridge on Christianity and Truth

He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth, will proceed by loving his own sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I have found this to be true. For whatever reason, pious Christions--this happened a lot when I was a Protestant, but I'm not sure it's happened since Poping (as Peter Kreeft is fond of saying)--are often shocked when I say that if the evidence on balance clearly supported the truth of atheism or some other religion, then I would cease to be a Christian.

A full analysis of this shock might prove interesting, but now I just want to note two things.

1. If I didn't love the truth above my own natural worldview, I'd never become--or stayed--a Christian in the first place.

2. My old mentor Norman Giesler used to say that "the heart cannot accept what the mind rejects". Coleridge was also correct when he wrote

"Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process."

but it does *presupose* a philosophy of life and if one finds the philosophical underpinnings unacceptable then their faith will be feign.

As Brian Leftow says in the opening words of his spiritual autobiography in God and the Philosophers "I am a philosopher, because I am a Christian." The Church proposes a truth to be believed, a Truth of greater import than any other. But I believe it *because* it is *true*.

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