Welcome to my geography room. I have many maps in this room, but the most significant one for me is the map of the United States. I was born in Kentucky and lived in Iowa, Wyoming, Missouri, Illinois, and North Carolina while I was growing up. I’ll admit: my geographical upbringing is one reason why I live on the Christian side of the tracks.
I acknowledge that if I had been born and raised in Pakistan, I would likely be a Muslim. If it were India, I’d likely be a Hindu; if China, I’d probably be a Buddhist; if Russia, I’d likely be an atheist; and so on.
Some people think this is why we should not think that any religion is uniquely true and why it is arrogant to believe that any particular religious perspective is “the right one.”
But just because someone accepts the dominant worldview of the geographic area where he or she was raised does not make it false. I also happen to believe that the earth orbits the sun and rotates on its axis once a day, partly because of where I was raised and when in history I was born. Just because I was born in the U.S. in the 20th century does not make my belief in the solar system false. In the same way, just because I was raised in an area that was mostly Christian does not make my Christian beliefs false.
However, the place and time of my birth do not make my adopted beliefs true either. So I should not simply assume that my Christian beliefs are true because “that’s the way I was raised.” Neither should anyone else who is, for example, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist assume that their worldview is true simply because that’s the way they were raised.
The main point is this: Merely adopting the worldview of our upbringing does not, in itself, make that worldview true or false. How we were raised, or where we were raised, is not really relevant to the truth or the falsity of the worldview in which we were raised. The so-called “truth question” needs to be decided on other grounds.
I just want to say that my upbringing had a major influence on the worldview I initially adopted. In that sense, I’m no different than someone who was raised as a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, atheist, or whatever. But I now believe that Christianity is fundamentally true, not because of my geographical upbringing, but because of many considerations that I’ll talk about as we visit the other rooms in my Christian house.