Thursday, February 20, 2014

More Quotes From Chapter Two of the End of Apologetics

Here are some quotes from Chapter Two.

One of the serious problems for modern apologetics is that it treats Christianity as if it were an objective "something" (e.g., a set of propositions or doctrines) that can be explained, proven, and cognitively mastered.
Well, Christianity does seem to have some of that, propositions and doctrines, but I am coming around to a belief that Christianity is not one thing but a moving, shape-shifting, adaptive, progressing, thing that is growing and changing with those who live in it.
Kierkegaard's favorite response is to point out that being a Christian is far less a matter of knowing the truth than that of becoming the truth - that is, of being truly rather than thinking truly
Everyone would agree with this.  It seems that one should be able to figure things out mentally.  The Enlightenment inside me would agree with this.  But this statement does not support that.  One can only know the true if one practices truly. There is something about that which rings true.  I can intuit that but I wish I knew better how to put it in words, coming up with a rational explanation for it.
In order to accommodate this, we will need to shift from an epistemological approach to something like a hermeneutical one.
The next quote expands on this.  We have a text and a tradition that we have received.  It is a reality that is here and now.  Myron says that it is the Word from God.
The pressing issue is not solving an abstract set of theoretical problems but interpreting the symbols and texts of a received tradition in order to understand their meaning and significance in relation to a concrete set of problems and exigencies that we encounter.
This is how many Jewish thinkers have approached the scriptures through the centuries and that now makes a lot more sense to me than it did when I was younger.
Reason is useful to us when employed to understand where and how we live, but is "suspended" (or limited) in this paradigm, as it does not plumb the depths of reality, nor is it capable of functioning as a context-free judge or standard for human belief and action.
Important to the developing narrative in Myron's book is that "reason" is limited.  It has a gaping wound. He says in one place.
We are in some respects, then, caught between the rock of modernity and the hard place of the premodern worldview.  Premodernity, with its hierarchical universe and naive picture of the world, is simply no longer viable, but we are also far too aware of the problems of the modern paradigm to find its program tenable.  A shift to a hermeneutical approach to Christian faith, like the kind I propose, carefully negotiates faith in reference to the texts and traditions out of which we hear the apostles and prohets speak.

Next to chapter 3

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