Re: Seely's Views 2

From: <>
Date: Wed Sep 08 2004 - 11:10:27 EDT

Response to Glenn, who wrote:

>>Because like in any system, one can't infer truth if one is having to
fit false experimental data. A probabilistic religion is not what can
give much comfort. Can we really say to people, "Please believe in
Christ because I think there is a 575 chance that is correct?>>

I assume you meant "57%" or some such number. If my own faith in Christ
were only at that level, and I think it might well have been at one time,
then that would tell me to study alternatives more seriously.

Re: sentence 1. "truth" is a desirable goal. But a relationship with my
Creator is of infinitely more importance. "Truth" is always elusive. You
and I both seek it -- you will not be satisfied until you think you have
grasped it. I do not expect to ever grasp it.

I fully expect that in a few years I'll find out a lot of my cherished
beliefs were quite off the mark. But I do not expect any of them to
involve my Christ relationship.

Walter Lang, publisher of the "Bible-Science" newsletter, died this
summer. By now (if time is a factor in the afterlife), he will have found
out how wrong his YEC position was. But that has 0 importance to his
relationship with God.

Of course, I also allow for the possibility that Walter will find his YEC
worldview correct, and I will find mine wrong. Maybe a 1% chance? My
ITTBE motivation applies here.

Sentence 2 is false. My "probabilistic" faith gives me much comfort. So
does it to many others.

You ask, "Can we really say to people, "Please believe in
Christ because I think there is a 57% chance that is correct?"

Yes. Remember that we are WITNESSES, not lawyers. I testify to what I
have experienced and to what I believe. I testify to the God I know
(imperfectly) through Christ, through scripture, which is not (and cannot
be) inerrant. My testimony to others is: "I have found this worldview
satisfying, and I invite you to try it." I do NOT tell them "you will go
to hell if you don't believe as I do!" If my faith were only at the 57%
level, I'd make that clear too.
I wrote that the issue is of ultimate importance. Recall Pascal: "The
> heart has reasons that reason cannot understand."

Glenn responded: "And the heart is easily deceived. I cite Dora Lazurkina
again. The heart, in that case, said something I find decidedly false.
So, I don't see Pascal as an absolute authority on the human heart."

Pascal made an observation. He did not claim authority. That the
observation is as true as anything else of its nature I know about seems
to be obvious.

Dora's example does not show anything of interest. Dora and God must
resolve it -- you and I are simply not involved.

I wrote:
> As a modern Christian, I worship Christ, and look to Him as
> being of ultimate importance. Tillich worshipped "The ground
> of all being." I thing that's the same thing. I am also
> unwilling to judge all Mormons (or Muslims) as automatically
> outside the fold, for I don't know their hearts. Their
> relationship to God is God's problem, not mine.

Glenn responded: "The problem I have with this is that Jesus said he was
the way the truth and the life no one comes to the father through him.
If that is true, then at least for the Muslims the case is closed."

That is an illogical conclusion. Jesus did not state your conclusion --
you inferred it, by assuming an intermediate premise -- somewhat along
the line of "to come to the father through me one must be a Christian."

We are not told what plans God/Christ have for non-Christians. To say
that we know this is fundamentalist foolishness.

Glenn: "Would you rule out devout animists?"

I would not "rule out" anyone, animist, atheist, a person living before
33 AD, etc. That is NOT MY JOB! It may be an item of intellectual
interest -- at most. For me, it is simply not very interesting.

> Glenn: "Maybe God tells me one thing and
> George another and you a third?"
> Burgy: Could be. As a matter of fact, I rather think it MUST be.
> And it has 0 to do with "information theory." jb

Glenn: "Then in that case, there is absolutely no way to know what God
wants. If you told your children three different standards of behavior,
you would
have had a mess at home.>>

Sentence 1 is true, if "know" means certainty. Otherwise it is blather.

We had 8 children (and three foster kids). I suppose we told them 11
different standards! Yes, we had a "mess." The bedrock standards,
however, we did OK on -- at least they all grew to responsible adulthood.



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Received on Wed Sep 8 12:08:55 2004

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