Sunday, April 3, 2011

On questions of the faith

It should go without saying that I don't know everything.  In fact, I know very little.  As I've gotten older I've had the experience of learning just how little I know.  I think that opening the world up to students, showing them just how much there is to be known and how little they (even after graduating) know is one of the key fruits of higher education.

When it comes to religious questions, to questions about Christianity, and the Bible, etc, wow I don't know much.  And it was in the process of reading the Bible and ancillary texts, like With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray and A Short History of Christian Thought by Linwood Urban (both highly recommended) that I have come to see how little I know.

And yet, one might say, this admitted lack of knowledge might be a sign of lack of faith.  Some seem to want Christians to be able to answer every question posed to them about the Bible and the faith. And if one cannot answer all of those questions then it's to be taken as proof that either the questioned, or the faith, is foolish in some way.  I disagree.  I can't answer every question that might be posed to me; I cannot explain every apparent contradiction in the Bible.  But I have faith.  It is my hope that as this blog develops and more people read it that lively discussions will take place, and I don't see Christians disagreeing as necessarily a sign of discord.  Discussion and questioning that leads to a deeper understanding of the faith we already possess will only serve to strengthen our rational apprehension of that which is extra-rational.

For myself, I do my best to have the open and true faith of a child as I approach such questions as, for example, whether to understand the creation story as literal.  I try to approach such questions with a deep faith that says, I may not know the answer to this question but I know that God the Father is true, that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are true, that the three of them are one God.  Basically, I approach these difficult questions as someone who believes the deeper truth of God but who can't necessarily work out all of these details that so many are hung up on.  And I'm not trying to say, oh look at me, look at how awesome I am. I know I am infinitely far from perfect. I just wanted to share my outlook on this as a foundation for how I intend on approaching such questions in my blog in the future.

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