Paul Arveson (
Mon, 29 Jun 1998 16:49:09 -0400

I appreciate all the responses on this subject. John, a general dictionary
is inadequate to bring out the distinction between technical terms. That's
why I referred you to 'Classical Apologetics', a theological book.
'Fideism' is not the same thing as 'Christian faith'. 'Fideism' is more
like 'faith in faith', i.e. faith separated and excluded from any rational
arguments. Fideism rejects
any arguments in its defense, because that would give credence to reason,
rather than faith alone, and reason is corrupt and humanistic.

It is hard to be a consistent fideist. In fact, John, all of your responses
in defense of your position are rational arguments, not merely repetitions of
your faith claims.

George points out that it is probably impossible to separate Biblical faith
from human culture. God could have revealed Himself in another way, but He
chose to give us the Bible -- a book embedded in history and human
languages. Peter quotes Scriptures that link faith and reason. Jonathan
is sympathetic with all the positions stated.

This ancient debate is a classic example of a 2-dimensional logical constuct
which I call a diameme or dialogic; there are many others that cause chronic
problems in philosophy, theology, etc. I updated the one on faith and reason;
I would appreciate your comments on it. You can see it at

Regards to all,

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