A Recent The Gospel Coalition Article on Confirmation Bias in Theology

This article seemed pertinent to a number of discussions on here, in particular

“If you’re concerned with truth, you must give other perspectives reasonable consideration. The principle of charity means attempting to understand an argument on its own terms. As the late James Leo Garrett said, ‘Only when you can state your opponent’s position so well that they themselves say, “Yes, that’s what I believe,” can you then begin to debate.’
Listen to the best arguments for the positions you disagree with, not just those that are easily defeated.”
How to Battle Theological Confirmation Bias (thegospelcoalition.org)

I would expand the author’s statement in section 2 of the final part of the article to include extra-biblical information in the “context” of a passage, for instance that “setting the earth on its foundations” does not literally mean that the earth is on a building-like foundation.


Indeed, I’ve heard Mike Horton (and others) argue that this one application of the command against false witness.


It’s impossible to defeat any argument based on confirmation bias without deconstructing the confirmation bias. Nobody knows how to do that with anyone who’s not asking. Nobody asks. I read. That was my undoing.

I remember reading Spark’s God’s Word in Human Words and he pointed out how those conservatives defending Mosaic authorship and attacking the documentary hypothesis VIRTUALLY NEVER represent it accurately or give it a fair shake. Confirmation bias is the primary reason why NT Studies is an intellectual circus outside of top notch scholarship. My problem is the exact opposite. I am ultra skeptical and question everything to a fault.

I also find there is a lot of irony in a website that professes Biblical inerrancy to be warning its readers of confirmation bias. A very informative article none the less.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.