Comment to Ryan

From: John Burgeson (
Date: Thu Aug 31 2000 - 13:08:08 EDT

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    Ryan wrote, in part:

    >>there are many times when things in the Bible cause my =
    reasoning mind to simply come up sputtering.

    I have no clue how the hi(story?) of Eden, the flood, Jonah,
    vegitarianism, et al. fit in to the big equation of things but I'm sure
    we've all gone through our own personal mental gymnastics on these and
    other issues. Confidence in our knowledge is so important for those of
    us involved with science. We don't particularly cherish the thought of
    willfully disengaging our minds when we hear, "Don't worry, its the
    truth. Just trust me."

    But my question is how to I get past my unanswered questions so that I
    can confidently proclaim with utter certaincy that... "I don't know why,
    but I know that I know this is the Truth.">>

    For one thing, by accepting our human fallibility. A recent book, THE
    MYTH OF CERTAINTY (sorry -- don't recall the auther) treats this issue
    as well as I've seen it done.

    For me -- becoming a Christian (about age 30) was tightly coupled
    to the knowledge that (1) I did not believe in Christ, (2) I was of the
    opinion that the whole thing was, if not irrational, at least a-rational,
    (3) if it was true in any way, then the God (in whom I did not believe
    except, perhaps, in a vague deistic way, was going to have to
    persuade me and (4) if point 3 was true, perhaps he would if I just said
    to him -- "Lord, I don't believe in you. But I'm willing to, if you really
    are the truth."

    Much to me surprise, it appears to me that God took me up on my "prayer,"
    or whatever it might have been. From my perspective, the
    willingness was key.

    Subsequent events, not many, but some, have quite convinced
    me that this Christianity stuff is "real." I'm still working it
    out as to what to do with it. I probably always will. Carol Regehr
    alluded recently to Polyani's concept of "private knowledge." That's
    a good starting point, perhaps.

    In a deeper approach to this question than this LISTSERV post -- let
    me recommend to you an article by George Murphy in the current
    While I sometimes disagree with George on things, in this case he
    has written something worth studying (he does this often and I am
    somewhat envious!). I think his article speaks, at least partially, to the
    you posed. Good questions, I might add. Good questions are those which
    hardly ever have a completely satisfying answer!.



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