Critical thought is usually associated with skeptical viewpoint. I tend to think of it more as reasoning your way through to the bottom of a issue to find out what’s really true.

There’s sort of an irony to the idea that many consider critical thought (they called themselves “rationalists” and “freethinkers” a century ago) as a thing used to debunk religious superstition; but I’ve found it cuts both ways. Many are not willing to look past what passes for our modern, materialist wisdom.

CS Lewis (and others like him) helped me here. He was able to demonstrate the tremendous rational coherence of Christian faith and debunked many of the shallow arguments trotted out against it.

I have found that Christians don’t have to be afraid of the hard questions. In fact, atheists and agnostics have to jump through a lot more mental hoops to justify their belief systems than their believing counterparts do.

But Christians do need to be critical thinkers. We need to examine our own assumptions if we are to have a robust faith; and we can certainly question the assumptions of our critics (and they assume a great deal more than is perhaps fair or reasonable). We don’t have to park our brains at the door when we become Christians.

Read the Bible deeply and on a regular basis; and read history, science and philosophy as well. Know what you believe and why it matters: and then live it out in the world. That is the kind of faith that can change the world.