Famed quantum physicist Werner Heisenberg, who coined the term Uncertainty Principle; summarized that the greater the accuracy of the speed of a sub-atomic particle, the less certain it’s location can be rendered. Welcome to the quirky world of relativity in physics. Interestingly enough, metaphysics has seemingly suffered the same fate of odd counter intuitive theories. This week my wife and I experienced such an example. We struck up a conversation with a gentleman who seemed beholden to this contradictory principle of uncertainty in knowing objective universal morality.
We have previously summarized the nature of the semantic (meaning) aspects of faith in the Gospel of John as well as the grammatical connectives that are used to indicate an evidential element. Furthermore, we explored the types of evidence John used to point to belief. While it has not been an exhaustive review of the evidential lines to belief within the Gospel of John, it is, at least, a refutation to the idea that belief is fideistic and unconnected to fact. See the attached chart (downloadable .pdf file) below for a detailed listing of John's use of faith and the associated evidence. There remains the question we mentioned in the first article relating to Jesus' seeming rebuke to Thomas for requiring to see before believing that Jesus had risen.
Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see [this evidence], and yet believed.” ~John 20:29 (NASB)
Last week I attended a Bible study that was covering post modernism; and its effects on both our culture and the church. I mentioned to our group that one of the negative consequences of this secular philosophy is that most Americans no longer believe in objective moral truth. I attempted to prove my point by walking back the myriad of legislative decisions from abortion to same sex marriage. At this point, I was surprisingly cut off by our speaker, who told me that we don’t want to get into discussing politics. That comment irked me. I thought to myself, how do you avoid politics when discussing the ramifications that post modernism has had on both our church and nation ? Time to review some definitions.
Of the ninety eight times that believe is used in John there are possibly only three instances where there is either no direct or contextual relation to evidence for the belief. One of them is a quote from the Old Testament (John 12:38; cf. Isa. 53:1), and even this quote relates to a prophecy which has evidential value. Another occasion is in the context of unbelief due to a rejection of truth (John 8:45-46). The third instance is in the context of Jesus pointing out those would not believe because of His hard sayings and that one of the twelve would betray Him (John 6:64). Yet, even here there is no call to belief against the evidence, and it is those disciples who spent the most time with Him (except Judas) who accept Jesus in spite of His hard words (John 6:68-69). Their previous experience with Jesus gave them a basis to make a decision for trust in the face of difficult teaching.
In October of 2008 Jesse Kilgore shot himself in the head some time after reading Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion. Apparently, this formerly strong advocate for Christianity became extremely disillusioned with his faith after a college professor suggested he read this book. A relative stated that Jesse’s “professors and the book had presented him information he found to be irrefutable.” This family member, in trying to help Jesse regain his faith, told him of their own struggles with faith and said, “It was my relationship with God, not my knowledge of Him that brought me back to my faith. No one convinced me with facts. . . . it was a matter of the heart.” It did not stop him. Jesse Kilgore was twenty two years old.
Being a Christian can be a challenging and rewarding travel through life’s earthly uncertainties. It seems the more quality human encounters you have the more enriching the journey becomes. Now, I am no expert in human behavior, in fact I am not even a formally trained apologist, but I enjoy reading the works of those who are and have found it to be both intellectually and emotionally enriching as it has added to my repertoire when talking with strangers—once a fearful thing to be avoided, not so much anymore.
Did you know that an old Christmas carol was supporting the homosexual movement? It sure was! Just look up “Deck The Halls.” You find in there the line of “Don we now our gay apparel.” There you go: the writer was supporting the homosexual movement.
“Nick,” you say, “that’s crazy! The word gay meant something totally different back then. It doesn’t make sense to put the modern meaning of a word onto its old usage.”