Five reasons not to shut down

Five reasons not to “shut down” when someone wants to show you evidence that purportedly contradicts what/who you believe:

1. Curiosity. Curiosity is virtuous and healthy, and the only faith worth having is a curious faith. Faith seeks understanding. Faith should increase curiosity, not squelch it.

2. Humility. Humility implies a posture of, “I don’t know all of what I don’t know, I don’t know all of what I need to know, and I should be open to learning things people think I need to know.”

3. Faith that honors. To honor something as trustworthy, you don’t endlessly protect it in the dark — you let it demonstrate its trustworthiness in the light of scrutiny. Honor what/who you trust by letting it “come outside” and endure the examination.

4. Love for neighbor. The love-ethic of Jesus (“love your neighbor as yourself”) requires that we be interested in understanding and knowing and empathizing with our neighbor, even when — especially when — our neighbor disagrees with us.

5. Love for the one you trust.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” (C.S. Lewis)