Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Friday, October 30, 2009

An Intangible

"Reason without faith leave one making decisions arrogantly, because what is known is all that should be known. Faith without reason is no less arrogant becasue it dismisses any knowledge that one can gain in the world."

"The world we live in is a complex one, where plans do not play out as we planned. Humans are "free moral agents" and sometimes they use their agency to circumvent our lives." This can become unreasonable outcome when we believe that God has the ability and motivation to intercede on our behalf at any moment creating harmony, peace, security and perhaps wealth and happiness.

"Radical faith is a faith not based on or in reason", as it seeks to establish traditional Christian experience as viewed apart from the modifying influences of reason. Faith is absolutized apart from reason and is used to epitomize the Christian experience, and this experience idealizes faith and separates reality apart from the 'real' that exists. "This is a hard sell to rational people." An understanding of God puts faith in context. The proper 'faith' context acknowledges the absolute authority of God as the Author of life and recognizes the innate failing of man in placing God in that context. In this is contained the absolute depravity of man and the bane of man's existence.

"Faith apart from reason is misguided zealousness, and enthusiasm. This zealousness and enthusiasm is not based on reasoned thinking and study but on emotional reaction and response to cultural beliefs, which have not been analyzed appropriately." Faith is a cultural entity of the Church, as is hope and love, 'the question is faith in What?' Has our faith become a constitution of values? or moral platitudes? behavioural laws? cultural laws?

"Values are defined as beliefs that we have an emotional investment in. Our beliefs underwrite our practices. And our practices are the public realm of "living in the world"."

Values, platitudes and cultural laws have become so concretized, that one cannot differ in anyway from the "party line". "Party lines" have a tendency to "limit critical thinking, education, and a broader understanding of the issue." 'Party lines' define and narrow our public practices and should limit the private practices as well with regard to our positions in our communities, apart from the community of faith. Many believe that a "broader understanding of a value is mandatory unless we want to "follow the leader" without questioning why these are values that should be maintained." Job 13:12 "Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay." The advent of the Age of Enlightenment and the proliferatin of science and knowledge cannot, nor should they become replacements for the inherent values of life and those values as outlined by the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. It is in these that there is no contradiction of value, no debasing of human life, no limited view to morality, no degrading of personal character and further there is an admission of a higher authority which is not subject to the reason of man. True religion and for that matter truth, in order to be just that cannot be a result of man's reson.

Can we claim to hold to the absolute truth? Job 28:12,13, " But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, ..." The world by wisdom does not know God, the world's wisdom never knew God. It is natural for people to seek after wisdom on earth, they look for direction for living their lives. Philosophers, thinkers, literature, science, the arts, even religious leaders cannot produce enough knowledge or insight to explain the totality of human experience without an understanding of the Divine God. The Divine revelation of true religion is what gives the true notion of God, His attributes, His ways, His designs, His judgements, His providences and from that man's duties, man's nature and man's end. The ultimate interpretation of life, of who we are and where we are going, must come from outside and above our mortal life. There lies a danger in a rationale that removes mystery from faith, as well there lies in a danger in a rationale which replaces faith with reason.

Salvation is more than an 'illusion of hope' it is the substance of a life of faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" You must overcome a fear of the unknown to embrace faith.

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