Re: fideism

John P. McKiness (
Sat, 27 Jun 1998 21:05:54 -0500

At 12:08 PM 6/27/98 -0400, Paul Arveson wrote:
>John McKiness wrote:
>I don't want to get into a big discussion about this. I just want to point
>out that John's view, which he has continually reiterated on this list,
>is basic 'fideism', and it is not a view that is widely accepted in
>most churches. It has too many philosophical problems.
>Of course John's 'religious' statements, such as those given above, are
>pious and sincere. But he wants to make a total separation between such
>religious statements and other (scientific and cultural) statements. He
>to assert a complete epistemological dualism.
> Paul Arveson, Code 724, Research Physicist, Signatures Directorate
> Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
> 9500 MacArthur Blvd., West Bethesda, MD 20817-5700
> (301) 227-3831 (301) 227-4511 (FAX)

Sorry Paul, I am not going to let you have such an easy way out.

Fideism in my dictionary (_The American Heritage dic tion ary_, Third Ed.,
1993) is: "Reliance on faith alone rather than scientific reasoning or
philosophy in questions of religion." I see no problem with that, that
appears to be what Christian faith is all about. There are always
philosophical problems, that is the nature of the beast of philosophy.

In order for me "to assert a complete epistemological dualism," I believe
that I would have to be guilty of dualism for that to be true(in this case
human reasoning is equal in power to Christian faith). I have stressed over
and over again that human reasoning is not up to the task of leading us to
God. Faith that He imparts in His Grace is the only thing capable of
leading us to Him. Therefore, I believe your "complete epistemological
dualism" is wrong and by the definition of fideism above I, I have no
quarrel with you.