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Essay on The Conflict Between Knowledge and Faith

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When reading, “An Open Letter to Students: On Having Faith and Thinking for Yourself”, C. Terry Warner (1971) expounds concerning the conflict between knowledge and faith in our lives. In doing so Warner asserts how people assume if they have knowledge then they cannot have faith. The reason for this separation is the misconception humans have concerning knowledge. According to Warner, the misconception humans have towards knowledge is, we are centered in the assumption that knowledge exists as a collection of facts which can all fit together nicely into a puzzle, or as Warner states, a large picture of human reality. Warner connects the misconception of knowledge with faith which he identifies as spiritual beliefs one holds even though these beliefs can be disproved and shaken by facts of knowledge. Warner brings forth the idea in which faith is not searched for in hopes of gaining secular knowledge, but in hopes of acquiring divine security. He affirms these misconceptions on secular knowledge and faith and provides reasons why humans believe they can have only one or the other.
Warner creates an analogy of a person’s knowledge and faith and compares them to a map. The purpose of a map, in Warner’s view, is to relay information, give direction, and guidance. One’s knowledge is similar to a map because the information on a map is selective depending on what type of map you choose to employ. A person will not find directions to get to Disneyland in Anaheim, California if they have a map showing how to find the Taylor Building at Brigham Young University-Idaho. No single map is complete but it is very specific to a person’s goals and ambitions. A map is linked to individuals as they choose how to shape it accord...


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...e lays the foundation for acquiring knowledge and building upon the knowledge I already have. Faith and knowledge can work together as partners and provide me with rich experiences that will expand my life’s map of understanding and assist in my desire to live with Heavenly Father again. We must expand our maps so knowledge supports our true foundations of faith and belief in a God who desires us to not only live with him, but be like him. This is my goal as I travel through life which is dotted with insightful learning experiences which fortify my faith first, and adds to my knowledge.






Works Cited

Holland, Jeffrey R. (2013 April 7). Lord I believe. April 2013 General Conference.
Lewis, C.S. (1980) Mere christianity. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Warner, C. Terry. (1971). An open letter to students: on having faith and thinking for yourself.




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