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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Poison Arrows

There exists a wide spectrum of opinion with respect to the epistemological validity of faith. On one extreme is logical positivism, which denies the validity of any beliefs held by faith; on the other extreme is fideism, which holds that true belief can only arise from faith, because reason and evidence cannot lead to truth. Some foundationalists, such as St. Augustine of Hippo and Alvin Plantinga, hold that all of our beliefs rest ultimately on beliefs accepted by faith. Others, such as C.S. Lewis, hold that faith is merely the virtue by which we hold to our reasoned ideas, despite moods to the contrary.

William James was thinking that the varieties of religious experiences should be sought by psychologists, because they represent the closest thing to a microscope of the mind—that is, they show us in drastically enlarged form the normal processes of things. For a useful interpretation of human reality, to share faith experience he said that we must each make certain "over-beliefs" in things which, while they cannot be proven on the basis of experience, help us to live fuller and better lives.

Overbeleif is philosophical term for a belief adopted that requires more evidence than one presently has. Generally, acts of overbelief are justified on emotional need or faith, rather than evidence.

Beliefs are true or false, and we might “reckon a person to be knowledgeable” for having true beliefs in a subject about which truths are not generally known.

Faith must include the idea that a person who acts on moral faith will be vindicated by God. All we need is the supposition that  grasps the need to have faith that God can be trusted to vindicate moral choices, despite appearances that often indicate the contrary.

Job 6:4, "For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks in their poison;..."

Where the things of this world at one time promised fulfillment, a Christian seeks to find satisfaction in spiritual pursuits. Faith can grow dull. Doubt can creep into the soul. Trials of faith, devoid of justifying results, taint life with a poison. We are easily distracted from disciplined pursuits when met with adversity. We are easily swayed from a path by the ease of passage to more pleasant places.

Mathew 7:13, "Enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction,..."

The problem arises with the anticipation of 'good'. The problem arises with the continuing challenges of life. Doubt is insidious when faith is undefended.

"If the canopy of heaven were a bow; if the Earth were the cord thereof; if calamities were the arrows; if mankind were the mark for those arrows; and if Almighty God, the tremendous and glorious, were the unerring Archer; to whom would the sons of Adam flee for protection?"

"The sons of Adam must flee unto the Lord."

We have this by faith, when all else fails.

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