I mean that for the main line denominations i.e. Methodists, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic and a good amount of Baptists to be a fully ordained minster you have to have an undergraduate degree then do Master of Divinity program. So, I think most mainline denominational minsters have been to college and even graduate school. Anyone can call themselves a Pastor and set up church so maybe the majority of Pastors in America are not well educated but large mainline denominations have educated clergy.
Honestly the CSL definition is I think one of the best for faith. I think though that the lived definition of faith is as trust in God. Because most Christians, me included, would not say that hey believe in God without any evidence at all. The evidence is experiential, feeling forgiven, feeling loved, or some other deeply personal moment. Those moments may not be proof that you can take to a wider society or really anyone who has not had them but they are very real to those who experience them.
I agree with this assessment. I often think of it using the language of fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is at its core the belief that I arrived at the only/best/real answer and that anyone who didn't is either dumb or bad. It leads to disrespect of other groups and an unwillingness to see any sort of common ground. In my opinion both theist and atheist groups can produce that sort of fundamentalists. Though religion produces many more. Let's hope more people will join group A.
You know I have actually not read that in Christian apologetics. I believe its there but in the context of this article it came out of discussion with Gleb.
Finally got a chance to start an account. Sorry for the delay. I've enjoyed reading the comments and there are some very good point raised. I realize now that trust in sensory experience was not the strongest argument. What I was hoping for with it was to show an example of faith that secular people can relate to. It does not seem like it landed so I may have to keep thinking about what those might be. Realizing that there is not going to be anything directly analogous to religious faith. I wonder if something like "faith in the scientific method to help understand the world" might better illustrate the point I was going for?
The article is aimed at both. Yes, it is probably more aimed at believers because as a minister that the audience most receptive to me. For believers I hope to show that rationality is not always antithetical to religious practice. For secular people I hope to show that there are things in common between the religious and the secular. We dont have to always be at odds. Your right and others who have pointed it out are right that we all start with sensory experience.. It would be interesting to discuss where sensory experience begins to lead religious people to faith.
I think Augustine would be an interesting candidate. John Wesley from my own denomination. Many of the early church theologians. We live with a fairly well developed system of theology and Christian belief . However, the early church had to define and articulate the faith. For this they used the methods of logical inquiry available to them based on the idea that theology had to be understandable and had to be internally consistent. So many of them used tools of logical and reason to examine the Christian faith. Were many of them rationalist in the modern sense, no but were they in their time and place yes.
I dont think I'm the only one. I just think I'm the only one to get mixed up in the rationality community. Thanks to Gleb and Columbus rationality. Most mainline protestant ministers are well educated and many are deeply engage with the practice of critical thinking