Are the Truth Claims of Christianity Literal?

In last week’s article The Motte and Bailey of Christian Belief, I commented on a trend I’ve noticed among Christians to make bold, hard-to-defend claims (the resurrection of Christ) and then retreating to broad, easy-to-defend claims (God is the ultimate mystery or “ground of being”) when pushed to defend the former.

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The Motte and Bailey of Christian Belief

I remain connected to the Christian world, even though I’m not a Christian. This is because I value friendship, and I don’t want to cut ties with people who are very dear to me. While having conversations about faith with Christians, though, I’ve noticed a trend that annoys me.

Christians will often make strong, extraordinary, and hard-to-defend claims about the world. But when pressed on these claims, they often retreat to more philosophical, vague, and easier-to-defend claims. This tactic is called the Motte and Bailey. When the Bailey is under attack, they retreat to the Motte.

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