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10.22.2005    |    Faith for those without religion: update
Update of yesterday's post: Chad, from Eternal Revolution, wrote, "it is important for all parties to realize it is not a blind faith." He cites Acts 17, where Paul uses reasoning and logic to convince people of Christ's authenticity.

My statement about faith is, of course, not meant to taken as an absolute and "blind" faith. It is based on two great things: The Holy Spirit's working in me, and God's Scriptures. But let's consider Scripture from the point of view of the unbeliever. They are just a man-made book to him. My view of Scripture is as put forward in the Baptist Faith and Message:
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.
Boring down to the root of the issue, our logic, our reasoning, is grounded in our belief that Scripture is true.

To recap, my belief that my Savior lives, my knowledge of this fact, is based on two things denied by an atheist: The existence of the Holy Spirit, and the inerrancy of Scripture. In logic, a conclusion derived from an unproven hypothesis is not necessarily true. It isn't necessarily false, but it would not be possible to prove it true.

In other words, my belief in my Savior might still be true, even if there were no Holy Spirit, even if Scripture were not true. But absent those beliefs, it's not possible to prove it.

There. I trotted out my left-brain for an outing. One plus one does, indeed, equal two. One plus I-don't-know-how-much equals I-don't-know.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Boring down to the root of the issue, our logic, our reasoning, is grounded in our belief that Scripture is true."

This is not a single assumption but rather a multitude of assumptions built on a more assumptions. To believe this one statement, implicitly you also have to believe that:

1) The translation you are using adequately translates the scriptures and has used a properly received text.

2) That the copyists didn't accidentally introduce any doctrinally altering ideas.

3) That the copyists didn't intentionally introduce any doctrinally altering ideas.

4) That the canon you use is the correct one. That there are no additional books that need inclusion and that there are no canonized books that should have been excluded. The Nag Hammadi Library and other recent text findings are beginning to show how incomplete the canon of the New Testament really is.

5) That the authors of the Bible, when claimed, are who they say they are.

6) That the dating of the New Testament books is relatively accurate.

7) That Jesus ever existed at all. Without a historical Jesus, the Gospels are nothing but embellished folklore.

8) Regarding the Old Testament scriptures, a lot of the same assumptions apply. You have to believe Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert and that any of the pre-Babylonian captivity account is based in fact. There is no archaeological evidence to support such an account.

Now, if you take your NIV Bible and turn to John 5:4. You'll be forced to realize that at least one of these assumptions is false.

3:29 PM, October 23, 2005  
Blogger franky said...

The bible is littered with errors. From the first two chapters of Genesis that becomes clear. On top of that, the bible can be used to rationalize any position that one wants to take. Whether that slavery is just, blacks should be segregated, or that Jews should be killed, it's can be rationalized. Why would "God's" inerrant word be so hard to dechiper and cause so much confusion? Was it just the "errant" translation of some obscure Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic word?

2:23 PM, October 24, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.