Several people have asked me to unpack what I meant in the last sentence of yesterday’s post because, well, it doesn’t make sense. What I was trying to say was that I had a crisis of faith in Seminary – as many people do, as it turns out – because I thought I could prove my faith claims were true (an Enlightenment position: “truth” is objective and can be proved), but the more research I did, the more I found that the facts seemed to contradict my faith claims (as many scholars of the Enlightenment had long realized).
Let me explain. First I want to stress – in case anyone queries me on it (as people do) – that my faith ultimately, in my own head at least, was based on what I took to be a personal relationship with God through Christ. How personal? We talked all the time. So, on one level, my faith was not simply a set of propositions that I thought could be demonstrated (God exists; Christ is the Son of God; Christ was physically raised from the dead; The Bible is the Inerrant Word of God; etc.); it was a relationship with a greater divine being. That, of course, is not something that is subject to objective verification.
At the same time, this relationship was, to some extent, mediated to me through a source of revelation, the Bible. I had come to think that the ultimate authority for what to believe and how to behave was the Bible, the holy, inspired, infallible word of God. Now I suppose it would be impossible, really, to prove one way or the other whether God inspired the Bible. Even if there are accommodations to the worldviews of ancient people (in stories about the origin of the world, for example), or different perspectives (say among the Gospels), or myths (such as Adam and Eve) etc. – one *could* argue (and some have) that God allowed these into the Bible for reasons of his own.
Even so, at the same time, it *would* be possible, in theory, to demonstrate…
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