Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Reactions to What is True?

Let's review what I have said is True:

1. There is a God.
2. We are separated from Him.
3. We want to come back to Him.
4. We can't get back to Him on our own.
5. God wants us to get back together with Him.
6. God knows we can't get back to Him on our own.
Therefore
7. God incarnated Himself on Earth and died in order for us to be able to get back together with Him.
8. If we believe that He really did that, we can rectify our separation from Him.

Now, my question is: I have been a Christian my whole life, so these truths seem to be self-evident. And they all rely on some fundamental unprovable beliefs. Such as:

1. God exists
and 2. I feel distant from Him.

I have contended that everyone finds these two things to be true, and that's pretty bold. I know. So my question is, does anyone honestly disagrees? I have yet to find anyone who really disagrees with these two truths, but that doesn't mean that no one does. I know it sounds crazy but I assure you, I have had no shortage of conversations with both Atheists and Agnostics, and none of them really believe in their heart of hearts that I'm wrong about these two. Most of the time they have a problem with the Christian God, or the Muslim God, or the Jewish God... I wonder though if there is someone who really, honestly disagrees with these two truths in the depths of their heart. If you do, let me know.

Because I think if you agree with these, then you have to agree with 3 and 4.

3. We want to come back to Him.
4. We can't get back to Him on our own.

I think these are also things that everyone feels. If I'm right in thinking that you agree with the first two, am I being too bold in assuming that you agree with the second two? Because I guess it would logically follow from these that

5. God wants us to get back together with Him.
6. God knows we can't get back to Him on our own.

He is God afterall. The real leap of faith seems occurs in the last two.

7. God incarnated Himself on Earth and died in order for us to be able to get back together with Him.
8. If we believe that He really did that, we can rectify our separation from Him.

If we believe in 1-6, I really think 7-8 would logically follow. It just doesn't seem that there would be any other way. The real leap of faith I guess would be, did God really do it yet?

The big problem with this truth system is that it all relies on a fundamental belief that stems from your own experience. If you experience 1-4 to be true... then I guess it would only make sense for 5-8 to be true. But then again... the whole thing sounds a bit too easy, or a bit too hegemonic to be true. That's when I say... "Well, He is God. It should be easy, and how could He not be hegemonic?"

Your thoughts?

2 comments:

Maria's Biggest Fan said...

Gonna come at this from a different angle I think.

First of all I had to look of hegemonic. Here's what I got...

"the use of power, usually by those controlling the meta or master narrative against the other."
oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth370/gloss.html

If that's the way you are using is here, I would agree with the assertion that to approach this issue in this way, intellectual assent (experiential or not) to certain felt truths, is indeed hegemonic and ungodly. I say that because I don't think God wants to control us by virtue of the truthfulness of a metanarrative, but rather wants us to join him in the midst of that metanarrative because of our experience of Him.

Let me try to say it another way. Simply because most people claim that their experience tells them there is a God (or the rest of those points for that matter) does not make any of them true. They all remain points of faith. Despite this we will always have differences over the character and nature of this God, what is means to be separated (if indeed we are), how or why we would come back to him, what the ultimate purpose of incarnation might be, and so forth.

Here's why I am reacting as strongly as I am. The era of modernity, as you pointed out in a previous post, led us to believe that Christianity ought to believed in by virtue of certain foundatiuonal truths, the kind you illustrate in your points. Postmoderity, via increased pluralism and deconstructionism, has done us the great favor of obliterating these foundations. I say this is a favor because I think it reclarifies that Christianity cannot (and should not) be reduced to a fixed set of truth claims. To follow Jesus is always a matter of faith and experientially based faith at that.

Christians ought no longer pacify themselves with the horrific notion that their ability to convince others of the truthfulness of Christian claims equates to ones salvation. This lets God, us, and everyone else of the hook of authentic and compassionate transformation.

Now for the bit that will really sound like heresy. What if Jesus' death and resurrection, rather than merely being some sort of legal transaction (between God and God by the way) that is to be believed in if one wishes for the their soul to go to heaven (the great country club in the sky) upon death is actually God's ultimate self-revelation. God says to us, "I am the God who demands the greatest devotion and sacrifice of my people (remember Abraham and Isaac?), but who meets this obligtion myself out of great love for my creation. After the pattern of my Son I invite you to join me in this was of being; this is new life." This is no truth to be believed in, it is a reality to be experienced and lived in faith.

Hope all that makes sense - I'm definately still in the process of figuring out if it actually makes sense to me.

Joshua said...

Okay... first of all, you're right. God does not want to force us to believe in Him. People interpret the Christian message to be hegemonic, and that is what I think I meant by that.

2nd - I think rather than saying that "There is a God" is true, I meant to go along the sentiment that "It is true that everyone feels the existence of God in their lives." I guess the truth I was pointing out was less "God exists" and more, "We all think God exists."

In a few words, what I'm saying is I agree with you J.R. Thanks for the comments. I'm still trying to figure this all out myself.