If we now have a system that truly promotes freedom that allows people to seek out that which is true and best according to their own conscience and reason, I have said that I think the best ideas are going to rise to the top. I still believe that is true even though our human reason is fallen and can occasionally lead to people to fail to come to the right conclusion.
Now, we come to the crux of the issue and where I think we find ourselves today by and large in America. Although some people would disagree with me, we have a great deal of religious liberty here in our country, and we are pretty free to believe as we wish. I don’t doubt that there are some who would like to restrict this freedom, but for right now, compared to many other places in the world, our situation is not that bad to be entirely honest.
Why then do we not see this happening? People have the theoretical freedom to pursue that which is good, and if Christianity is good, why do we see statistics that say that people are becoming more and more people falling away from the faith? Shouldn’t reasonable people will be flocking to Christianity?
Maybe the simple answer is that we are not doing a good job spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and demonstrating its intellectual viability. That is part of the responsibility in a free marketplace of ideas. People are free to share what they believe, and there is inherently going to be competition in that marketplace. If we are not willing to talk about our faith and actually give a defense for the hope that we have, it is really no surprise that we might be losing out. The first answer to this dilemma might then be that we need to do some internal evaluation and make sure that our witness is providing the answers that people need. Like I have suggested multiple times over, Christianity provides so many answers, and we just need to be willing to do our homework. That could easily be the first answer.
The power of the marketplace of ideas is also what can make it dangerous if we become complacent. There is no safe space for our idea to simply exist and maintain. Someone is always going to bring challenges, and we need to be prepared to face those challenges. If we don’t, it really shouldn’t be any surprise to see people fading. When we have statistics talking about a horrendous display of Biblical literacy, is it any surprise that most Christians don’t know how to stand up for their ideas in the marketplace of ideas. They are brushed away when they meet for example an intelligent atheist who does have good arguments. I still contend that Christianity has better arguments, but if we have a hard time even opening our Bibles, how many people are actually studying to learn how to answer these questions?
I think that we have largely come to the conclusion that we want a society where people are free to do that which is right. I have argued here that if we do have something that we believe is true, then when people are free to choose that which they believe is right, we need to do our job to present that which is indeed right. If we don’t, people are going to be swept away and fall away.
Think about the consequences as we wrap this post up. If Christianity is good and true (I know this is an assumption I have not justified in this post that have done so before if you look through the archives), it would be a good thing if more people follow Jesus Christ. In the free marketplace of ideas, people are going to follow what they find to be most reasonable. If Christianity is true, then it is by default the most reasonable because it will be the only one that corresponds with reality. If people never learn that Christianity is true and never have their questions answered, they’re going to choose something else even though it is less than the ideal. We are therefore never going to have our highest society where people choose to do that which is right most often because they are not subscribing to the ideology that would make those good choices most possible.