I am publishing this post as a preface to a sequence of posts that I will continue to update as long as I run this blog, and hope to continue updating for as long as I live – compilations of references on what I have studied during my life. I’ve decided to call these databases of resources.
Why do this? Well, whether my reader is Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, non-religious, or whatever else, I want to be intellectually responsible. If people have questions about what I believe, I want to provide responsible answers. As I see it, there are at least two things that I must do in order to do that well.
First, I should do my best to explain my reasoning in detail in important matters. Some of what I write on this blog is not quite like that. Sometimes, what I write is related to emotional issues in such a way that although I want to write clearly, I do not feel a need to address those topics in an academic writing style. However, many of the fundamentals of Christianity are not at their core emotional (though they have important emotional implications) but are based on historical and/or philosophical realities – both of which are based on objective truth rather than human perception and emotion. In objective matters, one ought to be careful to verify what you are saying. I may get things wrong from time to time, but if I make public my reasons for what I believe, then it will be easier for me to figure out where I am wrong. And if I am wrong or unclear, I can be corrected. This I welcome, that way I can correct my beliefs if I am mistaken or become more sophisticated and nuanced in my beliefs if I am merely unclear.
Secondly, I feel I should do my best to provide a way for people to double-check what I say. These databases hopefully will play that role. These are largely for people who want to learn more about a topic themselves, people who want to do their own research and come to their own conclusions. I encourage that kind of critical thinking. I believe strongly that Jesus would join me in this encouragement. I believe that the central claims of Christianity – which are sometimes called Mere Christianity in reference to CS Lewis’ foundational book by that name – are objectively true. Since objective truths that impact all of humanity must be based on some kind of evidence “out there” accessible to all of us, it is only fair that I try to provide sound reasoning based on principles that others can see – of which some examples are science, historical studies, philosophy, and ethics.
Databases may include posts like lists of useful resources, good books and authors, academic resources, or passages of Scripture that are relevant to a certain issue. I hope that as I continue to compile these kinds of database posts, they can serve as useful references for people who are interested in learning about areas that I am also interested in.