I want to steal one other idea from the book Confident Faith which I wrote about last time and use it as a springboard into talking about something I’ve wanted to broach for a long while, but haven’t known how.
In the book, Mark talks about "6 paths to faith" which is a pop level way to talk about epistomology. Ways of knowing.
He talks about a Relativistic Path: Truth is whatever works for you.
A Traditional Path: Truth is What you’ve always been taught.
An Authoritarian Path: Truth what you are told you must believe.
The Intuitive Path: Truth is what you feel in your heart.
The Mystic Path: Truth is what you think god told you.
And the Evidential Path: Truth is what the logic and evidence point to.
I thought it was very elegant, ant it covers it’s bases pretty well. I probably would have made experience it’s own thing, and I like his way better, splitting into a couple.But after laying it out so nicely, Mittleburg does something that puzzles me: He proceeds to discredit each of these paths as unreliable in favor of the last one.
This attitude is typical of all apologists I have met, often in less obvious ways, and it’s bewildering. Somewhere along the line we have agreed that the way to engage a postmodern culture that doesn’t care so much about logic and reason as what is good and beautiful, is the prove them wrong, turn them into athiest modernists, and then evangelize them.
Why not instead learn to defend the faith, postmodernly? Jesus was not a modernist! Nonetheless we learned ( a few hundred years after we might have, that we could defend the faith using science, and logic, and rational inquiry. Why now that the seekers are asking for testimony and authority are we throwing up our hands? Why should we limit ourselves to such a small slice of the epistomological pie for a god that is larger than the slice and larger than the pie itself.
If Truth is what works for you than I am going to show you why living for Jesus is the best and most productive way to life, and introduce you to Christian Pragmatism
If there is Truth in tradition, then I’ll invite you into a tradition greater than your own, at the cradle of monotheism, Where the great men and women of the Judeo Christian tradition worship the one who is greater because he came before.
If Truth is in authority I’ll quote to you from Einstein and Newton, From Shakespeare and Bach, From the Mohammed and Isaiah about the man Jesus Christ, who he is and what he means.
If Truth is something you feel then feel this, and tell me it hasn’t been what your heard has longed for all along: There exists a mighty being, a creator of the universe, an everlasting father of all mankind, and he loves you. He knows your name, and he wants more than anything to be your friend and never leave you, not ever, in all of eternity.
And if Truth is what God told you, then I’ll pray with you to a God that I know answers prayers and promises always to give good gifts to those that ask, trusting his goodness and faithfulness to answer his children over my capacity to show him to you without his help.
If you still want me to do If P then Q. Yeah, I can do that also. Because Jesus is all these things and more. He is Truth incarnate, the word made flesh. And we couldn’t hide him if we wanted to.