Monday, April 14, 2008
...utterances of truth...
-Horace Bushnell (1802-1876)
I think that the ultimate point of the quote is that eventually we have to move passed our own rationalistic view.
I'm a bit confused about your comment to be honest. What do you mean by "I don't think it's bad to think that what Jesus said makes sense."?
I think I would ask, "makes sense to what mind?" What I think Mitch is pointing to is the apologetic "kowtow" to modernistic epistomological notions of truth. Meaning, if we can present the "message" in a clear concise argument, then no one will be able to resist. (This seems to be the problem that you and I ran into with Andrew several years back.)
I'm not saying that Ravi and McDowell's methods are completely useless, but I do think they are becoming more and more "obsolete."(take obsolete very lightly)
In the same way, I don't know what '"kowtow" to modernistic epistomological notions of truth' means.
If what you're getting at is that the gospel is not purely empirical, i'm with you. But if we're supposed to love one another as Jesus said, don't we have to agree on what love is?
I haven't really familiarized myself with McDowell. But Ravi is awesome because he can break these large concepts down into things folks can understand. For instance, in his lecture "Why I Am Not An Atheist" he outlines four questions that everyone/every worldview must answer. Questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. We can see that Christianity deals with these issues in a unique way from other faiths.
So when I'm teaching a middle school bible study on Sunday morning, I can work with kids to make them see that they're already answering these questions by the way they're living whether they know it or not.
Whereas I could not get much out of them in discussion of:
"kowtow" to modernistic epistomological notions of truth
"To be sure some of the deepest truths of the gospel cannot be empirically discerned through the five senses, nor are they the kinds of "objects" that an autonomous reason can master and thereby control. Instead, they are truths indicative of the divine being as effulgent, outgoing, value-creating love and of human beings created in that image. In this setting, the truth of relations, of persons, and of the rich and abiding love between God and humanity must be factored into the methodological equation. Indeed, such engaging truths will not fare well when brought under a method ruled by the subject/object antithesis or by an overwhelming rationalism because these truths are not "objects" available to a universal, unbelieving, and largely indifferent reason. On the contrary, these truths are participatory and are received as the gifts of grace known only through engagement and a process of transformation. Put another way, knowing God as manifested in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit, not simply in a cognitive way but in a full-orbed salvific way, is a different kind of knowing than ascertaining the atomic weight of gold or the precise hour when John F. Kennedy was shot. It is a knowing that is wonderfully transformative, that never leaves us where we are..."
At some point we all must move passed mere propositions (a scientific way of presenting facts) (note your conversation with Greg Steir) and begin to have a love affair with God which goes beyond explanation.
Let me know if that makes sense.
I currently have him for church history 2 right now. Let's just say I have appreciated his writing far greater than the class.
I've heard Donald Miller basically says the same thing in some of his talks. He talks about asking people to describe why they love their wife. If they say "she's beautiful, intelligent, and caring" then he'll ask them if he brought before them a woman who was demonstrabably more beautiful, smarter, and more compassionate if they would instead love her. Not surprisingly the answer is "no". Well, why not?
Same thing. I'm just sayin, that quote and your original response was a bit cryptic. Apparently, I'm anti-intellectual! Which is why we must be such good friends. HEY-OH!