(Please note that the above headline is the one given by NPR to the piece as it appear on thier main page–KSH).
Believing in God isn’t like believing, correctly or incorrectly, that there are brick houses on Elm Street. What’s at stake is not a simple proposition whose meaning is understood and whose truth is up for discussion. God is an idea that is made intelligible, to the degree that it is intelligible, only thanks to the stories we tell about Him or about ourselves and our history. Believing in God is more like believing that a story is true, or that a story is compelling or worthwhile or worth learning or caring about, than it is like believing some fact.
Herodotus said that history is the history of lies. This is a bit of an overstatement. But I get the point. History is made up of stories and stories are often slightly less than, or maybe slightly more than, the truth.
A story teller, like a bank teller, aims at a good count, a well balanced, transparent accounting. And the value of a good story doesn’t ever consist in its matching all the facts….