RE: Seely's Views 2

From: Glenn Morton <glennmorton@entouch.net>
Date: Wed Sep 08 2004 - 19:26:52 EDT

Hi Burgy

> -----Original Message-----
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu
> [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of jwburgeson@juno.com
> Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2004 10:10 AM

> 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.

Yeah, I did mean 57%. I have trouble getting the shift key to work to
my favor. To me the problem with the approach I think you were
suggesting is that it begs us to put some probability on the belief. Is
christianity 95% probable and Islam 91%? Does that make Christianity win
the contest?

>
> 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 will agree that we will never find absolute truth. But that doesn't
mean, to me, that we should throw the towel in and not try for 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.

Agreed. But from what I have heard of a person who met him at the Utah
foottrack site, I am not sure that Lang was interested in truth. And
that is sad. The story I was told, I was told to keep to myself until
this individual died. If that fellow outlives me, the story will go to
my grave, but if the story is true (and I wasn't there), it is quite
disturbing to me.

> 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.

Well, I picked the 57% figure out of the air, but if the bad
communication, in which God chooses to allow the wrong message to get
out, is actually true, then I would say my confidence would plummet much
lower than 57%. Why do we want to believe something that makes our
religion so unbelievable? I simply don't understand the attitude. If I
felt that God acted like a used car salesman(whom I really don't trust
at all), why would I believe what He tells me?

> >
> 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.

We are involved to the extent that Lenin certainly is not God and that
the claim was made by a human being in history. Was it shame? Maybe.
Was the person deluded? Maybe. But the fact that such claims are made
in all seriousness has to make us less trustful of the existential
approach.

>
> 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."

I am interested in what you say here. If Jesus isn't the son of God as
the Muslims say, then his death on the cross was just that, a death on
the cross--nothing more. If one can be a muslim, and be saved, then
there is nothing unique about Christianity whatsoever. The above seems
to me to wipe out classical Christianity.

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

We will disagree on this. Maybe this is another issue in which we think
God is not communicating clearly. If it is, it illustrates the problem
with having a God who can't communicate.
 
Received on Wed Sep 8 20:24:17 2004

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