Friday, December 25, 2009
I'm writing this blog on Christmas morning, having already spent Christmas with one side of the family and getting ready to spend it with the other side. One side of the family is Christian and the other is not. One side is conservative and the other side liberal.
But what is most interesting to me is that on both sides, truth has died. There are at least three tests for truth (I get this from Ravi Zacharias (visit www.rzim.org).
For something to be true, it should be:
1. Logically Consistent
2. Empirically Adaquate
3. Existentially Relevant
I'm not going to unpack these points in this morning's blog because my larger point is that there are tests for truth however they don't matter if you don't believe in the very concept of it.
The family time I get around the holidays reminds me of this as I get to see it first hand. On Christmas Eve, we were sitting around watching family videos of Christmases past. In one, my wife is found singing Amazing Grace. One family member says something about her "singing religious music".
Simply calling it "religious music" is a fantastic way to ignore the contents of the message. It's a great way to be the ostrich. I've seen lots of people simply dismiss things as being "religious", which seems to allow them to never question whether or not it may be true. In their minds, religion is simply something you believe in to get through life. It is something that can't be tested, hence the tests above never get applied.
Truth has died in this nonchristian family.
But the same can be said for another side of my family that IS Christian. They will also never use the three tests I listed above (or any test) against their faith. They HAVE the religion that keeps the other side of our family from ever changing their ways.
They have beliefs but don't ask them WHY. They've never taken it that far. I disagree with a significant portion of their denominational interpretations, but because they don't test the truths of their faith critically, they are not open to change, thus the dialog is cut-off.
What is most strange to me is that neither side would apply such thinking to non-religious worldviews. Neither side would for instance, when faced with crossing a busy street corner, simply think that the belief in whether or not a car is crossing their path is simply someone's opinion or experience and should NOT be tested.
You might also say that religion is different in that it makes claims that are not testable. I agree that many religions make such claims, but Christmas should remind us that Christianity goes much farther. This Christmas day presents to us the intersection of God with humanity, the transcendence of God as He crossed the line of the supernatural and traveled into the natural, taking on flesh and being born a human baby, one that could be touched and seen and heard. Will you ignore the baby in the manger?
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Imagine a world where the truth of reality was only that which we liked. In such a world, what would keep us from thinking that we were God? After all, only an omnipotent being can choose what is true based upon His desires.
Perhaps this is why so much of life has truths that are not pleasant to the human mind. What is the most certain truth of life? Is it not death?
And to think that some people claim that perception is reality. Just try and perceive death away. It nags like a mother-in-law's scorn.
We can try to choose our faith and make life conform to our wishes, but there is something about reality that will not bow to anyone else but its maker and we are not He.