Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Know if God is There and Who Jesus Is.

There are I/It relationships, that each of us has with inanimate objects.  And then there are I/Thou relationships, that persons have with one another.

God wants an I/Thou relationship with you.  He does not want to be an It that is the conclusion of a philosophical, historical, or scientific argument.  He doesn't want to please your idol curiosity.  He wants you and He wants you to want Him.  If you ask, He will give you Himself.  If you seek Him, you will find Him.  If you knock, the door will be opened.   But it's not for those who don't want God to be Lord of their life.  So if you don't want God to be your boss, don't pretend that you want to know if He exists.

The same with Jesus.  If you want to know who Jesus is, ask God, "Who was Jesus?  Did he rise from the dead?"  But don't ask if you aren't willing to let him be Lord of your life.  Just turn around and move on.  

That's about the extent of my "religious epistemology."   I got nothing else to give you.


JDB said...

There's a philosopher, Paul Moser, who has recently been exploring and defending ways of approaching knowledge of God based on conceptions you mention - especially the idea that what God wants has implications for what kind of evidence God would and would not provide. He's written other stuff, but the book I have in mind is "The Elusive God." Here's a review of it by Bruce Russell from Wayne State(!):

I can't remember how good a sense the review gives of the book. In any case, the book is somewhat hard-going; I remember it being fairly repetitive, and at times hard to follow. But it was nevertheless full of interest. (I admit I didn't finish it...)

Bilbo said...

Yes, I think the fact that all lines of evidence for God at most seem to point in His direction, as if God is saying, "This is the direction to start looking for me. But you won't find me based solely on the evidence."

Bilbo said...

The first Star Trek movie (which I liked, but most Trekkies hated) offered a sort of reversal of this idea:

"At the heart of the massive ship, V'Ger is revealed to be Voyager 6, a 20th-century Earth space probe believed lost. The damaged probe was found by an alien race of living machines that interpreted its programming as instructions to learn all that can be learned, and return that information to its creator. The machines upgraded the probe to fulfill its mission, and on its journey the probe gathered so much knowledge that it achieved consciousness. Spock realizes that V'Ger lacks the ability to give itself a focus other than its original mission; having learned what it could on its journey home, it finds its existence empty and without purpose. Before transmitting all its information, V'Ger insists that the Creator come in person to finish the sequence. Realizing that the machine wants to merge with its creator, Decker offers himself to V'Ger; he merges with the Ilia probe and V'Ger, creating a new form of life that disappears into another dimension."