April Fiet has written a great blog, “Why I don’t believe in the slippery slope,” that addresses similar concerns as those brought up in our discussions on faith shifting and unraveling. Furthermore, she highlights the fear associated in questioning one’s beliefs and/or having one’s faith change.
“The slippery slope does not exist; what does exist is the fear that if you question one belief, soon you’ll throw them all out the window. What does exist is worry about what will happen if you examine the beliefs you were taught as a child. What does exist are systems that promote question-free acceptance rather than a faith that also loves God with our minds.”
Further on she says:
“The problem is, Jesus never said, “Believe the right things, and you’ll be saved.” What he does say is that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, referencing Deuteronomy 6:5). And I take that to mean that in our love for God, we are invited to learn, grow, question, and change. God is not threatened by our questions. We are not saved by our beliefs, but by the saving love of God.”
Fiet captures well the angst many Christians have about how others ought to believe. This angst, as Fiet effectively points out, is unbiblical.
Fiet’s article highlights why conversations about faith shifting, as well as making space for asking questions and encouraging growth in faith, are so important both for graduate students and for the wider church.