8/7/11 Tian, 21
If you believed that one plus one equals three, then it would be logical to conclude that one plus two equals four, two plus two equals five, and so on. The logic is there but the conclusion is wrong because the original presupposition is wrong. This analogy has helped me talk to people who think other belief systems are logical, because it helps them see the importance of having a strong foundation to build such a belief system on. I used it in talking to a young Asian man named Tian yesterday, and it helped him to accept my advice. Tian moved to Chicago from China five years ago, and has been lonely and depressed because of the language and cultural differences and being left on his own by his parents who have separated. He had no religious background but he heard somewhere that 80 percent of Americans are Christians, so he decided to check Christianity out to see if it offered any happiness, though he isn't even sure if he believes in God. He was attracted to TV preachers like Joel Osteen, but has been attending the Jehavah's Witnesses for the last two months . He was warned about their false teachings by a Christian friend, and ended up visiting our church this last Sunday where I met him and found out his story. As we talked, I could see that Tian sees logic in several different world views, all of which are based on a faulty foundation: 1.) The scientific worldview, which begins with the presupposition that anything outside of scientific law or description cannot exist, which would include God and His miracles; 2.) the Jehovah Witness worldview denying the Trinity and the deity of Christ which is absolutely essential to Christian faith and forgiveness; and 3.) the secular view that our personal happiness is rhe chief concern when, in fact, God's glory is of primary importance. The answers to all of Tian's many insightful questions could be traced back to the influence of these powerful world views, and my simple math analogy gave me permission to talk about the foundational truths rather than chasing after every religious rabbit-trail that came along.