Monday, August 11, 2008

"Academic Belief"

A friend once said to me, "I see you as an academic believer." My response follows:

I like that term, since the primary emphasis is on being a "believer" rather than an "academic". I am inquisitive by nature; I try to see everything from every side and reach my own conclusions; I do so, however, from a foundation of faith - because I have found that it is such a foundation that brings me the most joy.

This means that I always try hard when I read or hear something for the first time to see if there is a way I can see "correctness" within it - even if that ends up being only a very small portion. Often, I end up rejecting 10%-90% of something - but my approach, I believe, allows me to gain something from most of the things to which I am exposed. That is true sometimes of things I have considered carefully previously - if the perspective is somewhat different than what I have considered previously.

I am not an "academic believer" if that means someone who only accepts what I can understand. (I would term that type of person to be a "believing academic".) I certainly am an "academic believer" if that means someone who tries to think about and understand everything but who, first and foremost, believes. My heart and experiences are bound rock-solidly to the Restored Gospel, but my mind is looking constantly for ways to understand it better.


Christy said...

That is a wonderful perspective to follow - looking for the truth in everything, one that I would like to adopt. I have a tendency to get defensive.... Thanks Ray, for teaching me today.

Anonymous said...

You could not have said it better :)