Faith: A Road with Two Ditches
Created to Comprehend - Introduction
A long time ago, back when it all began, God “rustled through the foliage in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). He was present in a way that touched our senses. When he shuffled around everybody knew it; they turned their heads, knowing precisely where to look. When he spoke the air moved and excited our ear drums. Heck, if God was feeling playful he could extend a finger and tickle our sides.
But God no longer rustles the foliage; and his voice does not push the air. Because now we are on the other side of the great epistemic curtain which keeps us from reality’s most important secret. Now we are detectives gathering clues and formulating views. Now what we have is mostly questions: Does God exist? How can we be certain? Can we know anything about God? What is knowledge? What is “faith”?
What do believers think about these big questions? They think all sorts of crazy things, that’s what. Even “faith” is a mess (you’d think a concept that is so central to, well, “faith itself” would be fairly straight forward, but it isn’t).
The goal of this series is to arrive at a model of faith that makes sense and to distinguish that model from other popular notions of faith that simply do not work. Even though God is hidden (and even though he is the transcendent-holy-other, and all that super-spiritual stuff) I believe we can comprehend God in meaningful, even life-changing, ways.
Think of faith as a road with 2 ditches. The road is that model of faith that makes sense and is most coherent with the biblical texts. The 2 ditches are 2 opposite and erroneous models of faith that draw in many believers. To be sure, a believer can still get to where they want to go by slogging through one of these ditches, but it is so much easier being on the road!
The ditches both glorify opposite things (but end up with identical problems). The first ditch glorifies certainty. The second ditch glorifies mystery. The road, you will find, really has little emphasis on either mystery or certainty.
Next: The Ditches of Faith
- CATEGORY: theology for your God-shaped hole