Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Defending the Christian God

Im doing a Christian Belief: Critics and Defenders course for my degree this semester and today I had a change in perspective on one of my methodologies involving evangelism click below to read more.


The other day in the lecture the lecturer said "There are some Christian believers who say that arguing for God's existence in a rational, logical and empirical basis should not be done, as belief in the triune God is through Faith and revelation not logical and rational reason." When I heard this I thought "Man what a cop out" and thought Christians shouldn't be running away from stuff like this, yeah sure its not going to save someone to get them to believe in God but its one step closer...isn't it" So that day I wrote a little phrase on the margin of my paper, "Surely we must argue out of the compassion to bring people a step closer to the belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour, not to justify our own position rooted in faith but to bring someone maybe a step nearer to salvation" I was pretty sure of my reasoning to make that, to the point that I wrote it in order that I wouldn't out into a stance where Christians can run away from the worlds questions and challenges. Well today was the lecture which fully discussed this stance of some Christians not wanting to argue and I think I had a paradigm shift, a methodological revolution so to speak, a change in my thinking to be un pretentious! Here are my thoughts: - I've always when discussing my faith made the possible mistake of bringing my explanation of God through an empirical level, coming in from the least experiential plateau I could, as before I was a Christian I turned off when I heard that stuff. So I thought, lets bring it onto their playing field, I'm going to tell them to look at the PROOF, the evidence around them that a God must exist, looking at the unlikeliest and flaws in the evolution argument, the big bang theory and pressing the case for a clear design in creation. I even did that this week with my flat mates, in attempting to follow up other conversations and experiences with them over the last 6 months. - This is quite a flawed method as I have discovered in the past but failed to see a better or more valid way of communicating God's existence. For a start, Christian belief is such because its through the revelation of God to man not the other way round, not Man thinking and rationalising and discovering God, this type of bottom up discovery leads us to a Deist God which is a God who is hypothetical because there is no better hypothesis, and it is a watchmaker God who creates the watch and walks away, to function and eventually corrode. Bringing someone to the belief of Design in nature doesn’t bring them any closer to the Christian God because it leaves you with saying "Yeah there’s an author but is it one author, two, a dozen, and other such questions" - Historically what has happened when Theology tries to argue for Gods Existence on rational terms e.g. Descartes, Locke....Faith became consumed by reason, Reason was the common minimum shared throughout the fields involved and turned theology into a branch of philosophy. - Also if you argue for God on rational terms then a belief in God equally is formed on a bed rock of reason, so when a more logical argument comes along it replaces the one before. Faith is diluted. - Another problem and although I haven’t covered them all I feel that the balance between me wanting my bed at 2am and the point being made I think this will be the last is that - Rationalising God creates God in a manageable form, because we use analogies like architect, artist, builder, watchmaker etc, and what this is, is anthropomorphism, the endowing of human characteristics onto non-human parties for example in Bambi or the Lion King where dangerous animals are turned into cuddly lovable characters who we see as humans because of their characteristics. This may be fine with animals in relation to children’s films but when we look at God, a rational God becomes a BIG us, He/She/It stays in the sphere of rational reason because He/She/It is contained and understood within thought. This is not the God of the bible, the triune God, The Christian God, fortunately we worship a God who is a mystery, uncomprehendable, of whom we can only glimpse a portion of his glory - Immanuel Kant, although floored in some of his assertions makes a good point with which Ill conclude, He says (paraphrased) That understanding God through rational thought, or moving from the empirical to the transcendent is like using a canoe to sail to the moon, you are using the wrong equipment for the Job. How does this relate to me, well I was thinking today, the salvation of the people I love although is helped along the road by me being salt and light, its always in Gods hands and I think maybe I would go as far to assert that God might want us to "back off" sometimes from being to pushy, and to realise its not us who saves people, its the sovereign hand of God in an incredible, mysterious, overwhelming, perfect act of Grace to Undeserving sinners. Hope this was understood......4HisGlory....feel free, no, please comment, would love dialogue!


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