Searching for Truth in “The Truth Project” — Lesson 8: Unio Mystica — Am I Alone?

Looking briefly at the outline for Lesson 8 prior to watching the session, I decided to test myself:  Could I actually watch an entire Truth Project session without writing down a single criticism?  By the end of the hour-long session, the outline sheet looked exactly as it had when it was handed to me.
I had absolutely no issues with Del Tackett’s Trinitarian-based theology as he discussed the biblical themes of intimacy, union, and oneness as it relates to (1) a husband and wife, (2) Christ and the Church, and (3) God and mankind.  And, to the best of my recollection, nary a mention of Darwin and the “pernicious truth” of evolution.  Well done, Del.  But don’t believe for a minute I’ll be so kind when I blog about Lesson 9 …
That being said, Dear Reader, I have a question: 
Despite my rejection of biblical inerrancy and the Bible’s ancient Near Eastern cosmology, and my subsequent acceptance of evolution as fact, why has my faith in God not wavered?  Why is it that I still affirm a significant portion of traditional Christian theology instead of embracing atheism?

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

16 Responses to Searching for Truth in “The Truth Project” — Lesson 8: Unio Mystica — Am I Alone?

  1. Besides the point, I'd wonder more about how you reconcile your rejection of God's word (its inerrancy) and yet claim to have faith in God. Doesn't it imply there are parts of the Bible you accept and others you reject, and thus have a selective faith?

  2. Mike – it's because you love Jesus.

  3. Luther might've asked you the same thing, Jubz. He thought that the Bible taught geocentrism. How would you answer him?

  4. Yes… how have you held tightly to your faith?

    For me, it is partly because the alternative seems unthinkable, and partly because God has shown himself faithful again and again. Still, I can't claim to be unwavering. I am very interested in YOUR answer to this question!

  5. J-dub

    I think it's because your belief in a God isn't derived from the Bible or any other authority. Unlike Del, your search for truth is derived from your own experience, experiment, research, observation, and …"revelation"?

  6. S

    Check out this website with Chip Ingram – "Why I Believe In The Bible" http://www.venturechristian.org/experiencing-venture/Sermons_.html

  7. 1) "A significant portion" is not equivalent to "all that God has revealed". Is 60% a passing score in your book? Do you think God will be impressed with 60%?

    2) There is such a thing as "blessed inconsistency". God has been merciful to you in that you have not carried your doubts to their logical conclusion. Having rejected the Bible's inerrancy, you have no good reason not to reject all of it, but b/c you are inconsistent, you don't actually go that far. It's not laudable for you, but I praise God that you don't go all the way and become a solipsist, nihilist, and atheist.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  8. Jordan said:
    Luther might've asked you the same thing, Jubz. He thought that the Bible taught geocentrism. How would you answer him?

    I'll take a stab at this one.
    1) Luther is not the Pope, and he's not infallible. He got plenty of things wrong. If you think he was wrong, bring forth your argument.
    2) In this case, I'd suggest that the Bible is not specific enough to make a solid statement either way.
    3) I'd also suggest that you need to take a step back and think more deeply about frames of reference and the problem of induction and thus of science's constant fallacious inferences. Don't just assume that science is the Judge and put the Bible in the dock. Make your argument. Make them right, and you'll find that their positions are actually reversed.

  9. Hi Rhology,

    2) In this case, I'd suggest that the Bible is not specific enough to make a solid statement either way.

    The Bible tells us clearly that the earth doesn't move, that the sun does, and that the sun actually traces a course along the solid dome above the earth that is the sky. Luther certainly believed this, as did most other Christians of his time. The only reason we think any differently today is thanks to science, and not because of anything written in the Bible. We now view the biblical verses that reflect an ancient cosmology from an accommodationist perspective. Evolutionary creationists are simply doing the same with regards to the Bible's description of an ancient biology. It is hypocritical to chastise evolutionary creationists for rejecting the biology of the Bible if at the same time you reject the cosmology of the Bible.

  10. Jordan,

    1) Where did I make a solid commitment one way or the other? I'm not being hypocritical at all.
    2) You in no way interacted with my point with respect to frames of reference. W/o that, your objection is meaningless.
    3) If we interp the Bible wrongly and science helps us rethink the wrong interp so that we come to interp it rightly, bully for everyone! That doesn't mean science is over the Bible; it means that we interped it wrongly and later discovered we should've gone a diff direction that whole time.

    Peace,
    Rhology

  11. Hi Rhology,

    By some of the things you say, I don't think we're in complete disagreement. I did address your 'frames of reference' argument, though perhaps not explicitly. Admitting that the Bible was written from man's 'frame of reference' is an accommodationist hermeneutic. It is an argument that the Bible's description of an immobile earth and orbiting sun and solid sky reflects the ancient Hebrews' limited, fallible, and earth-bound understanding of the cosmos, and that God's message has been accommodated to this perspective. In the same way, Mike and myself would argue that the message God delivers to us in the Genesis creation accounts is accommodated to the limitations of the ancient Hebrews' understanding of biology. We are thus free to accept heliocentrism and evolution without changing God's intended message. That said, I don't think I agree with Mike when he says this makes the Bible fallible, since delivering scientific insight was never the reason for the Bible to start with.

  12. There is a difference between fundamentalists who say the Bible is absolutely true without error and orthodox Christians who say the Bible is infallible. One seems to say God actually dictated the Bible while the second believes the Bible to be inspired but still written by human beings.

    Take as an example Mark 4:31. The mustard seed is certainly not the smallest seed as Jesus claims. But it is true that from a very small group came the largest and most significant religion in the history of humanity.

    Orthodox Christians believe the Bible to be true in what it says about God and his relationship with man. We do not claim it is the authority on science and history.

  13. Thanks for your informative presentation.

    My response is a question. Have you linked to Scot Aaron's Spiritual Astronomy with a new Cosmology based on a Relativity Ratio?

    You can actually see a relativity ratio in the Bible. "Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 in the Old and New Testaments refer to a day of God compared to 1000 human years. This (365 days times 1000 years) can be understood as a simple Relativity Ratio of 1 to 365,000."

    Share your thoughts, please,
    Eve

  14. The contexts are totally different, for one thing. Making these kinds of matchups is a game of free association, where anything means anything.
    Also, nobody thinks that the universe is 365,000 + 1,000 years old. For people who've already sold out their belief in the Bible in favor of what "modern" "science" says, this kind of accommodation won't get you anywhere.

  15. Agreed, Rhology. Like Luther said:

    "So it goes now. Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing that others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow [Copernicus] does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down. Even in these things that are thrown into disorder I believe the Holy Scriptures, for Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and not the earth [Jos. 10:12]."

  16. @Laura:

    Here's a list from an article that the late, great Michael Spencer (aka Internet Monk) put together which I find useful in my own thinking. It just so happens that the article arrived in an email the same day you asked:

    how have you held tightly to your faith?

    Coincidence? I think not. ;-)

    ***********************

    Why I Am a Christian

    1. It is reasonable that God might exist.

    2. Further, it is reasonable (based on the evidence) that this God who might exist might be personal and therefore have communicated with human beings.

    3. The world’s religions are a reasonable place to look for evidence of such communication.

    4. Among those representing the world religions, Jesus of Nazareth seems to hold the consensus as the person most likely to provide convincing evidence of the God who might exist. (Since Jesus is—in some way—incorporated into all major world religions, if all the world’s religious leaders were locked in a basement until they could elect only one person to represent the best of their beliefs, I believe Jesus would be the person selected.)

    5. The resurrection of Jesus is a reasonable explanation for the existence of Christianity as a distinct belief system from Judaism.

    6. An examination of the various alternatives and existing evidence convinces me that the Resurrection is, in fact, true.

    7. If the Rez is true, then Jesus’ statements about himself, God, Truth, Sin, etc. (the Christian worldview) are true by deduction.

    8. Based on this conclusion, I relate to the God who I now believe exists through Jesus.

    9. My experience matches what Jesus describes, providing personal verification of the truth of Christianity.

    10. Based on Pascal’s wager, I await eventual verification of this conclusion after death, but haven’t lost anything if I am wrong.

    ***********************

    That being said (or repeated in this particular instance), I like how J-dub puts it: I rely on my own observations and experience, not on some claim that the Bible is a perfect, inerrant, and infallible document.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>