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August 25, 2010


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In speaking of the metaphysics of naturalism, an author I recently read states that "methodological assumptions often mask metaphysical faiths." He develops the idea that while people vehemently argue over the logic of this theory (atheistic naturalism) or that theory (theism), the bottom issue is dispute over the facts.

In relation to the question of the limits of scientific and theological truth, I think Dilley's point speaks eloquently. What we want to know are the facts, but our ability to discern the facts is limited by our methodology (both by its limited capability and by the limitations which any methodology imposes by nature of excluding some other method). Our method determines our "facts." Insofar as we perceive anything we are interpreting it. I think, then, that the limits of both scientific and theological knowledge fall short of absolute knowledge of absolute truth (because we don't have absolute certainty of an absolute method).

But then again, I'm not absolutely sure!

The questions of absolute truth, our ability to grasp it through science or theology are analogous to the Gospel.
Absolute truth exists. Christians accept truth to be God. Scientists apprehend truth to be empirically perceived. Both means are limited by human perception and capacity. Being a Christian I believe God is truth but we as humans have inherited the choice of Adam and Eve to discern truth through our own means, to know good and evil and be like God. It is this sin that God uses the law to convict us of. Christ's life, death and resurrection reveals that when we surrender the sin that we are like God, knowing good and evil, and surrender our will to Him we, like Christ, become one with God. The result of our death to the fallen man of sin results in our resurrection as children of God. Our truth is no longer discerned by our means but by the Mind of Christ in us. Truth is no longer arrived by science, nor by theology but spiritually discerned, but not by our own works. The works of righteousness, of truth and the Gospel are of the Spirit of God. If we rely upon human axioms we will get only what we have . . . human limitation and futility.

So do we now use the truth from God to accomplish feats of power for our own benefit? If that were possible then we would not be surrendered to the will of God but have authority to subject His will to our own. God is not subject to man. Man finds life when He is surrendered to God. The Gospel is the discovery that we have life when the authority of man is sacrificed to the will of God, when the assumption of the knowledge of good and evil and the presumption to be like God is surrendered back to God. This Gospel lesson was the intent of God’s decision to prevent man from eating of the Tree of Life. With it they would unleash the wickedness that their ego-centric natures would produce and make the Tree of Life the ultimate object and source of power. The Israelites were taught this lesson in the wilderness as they sought to subject God to their desires. It is the bitter pill the disciples swallowed as their messiah was crucified and was the stumbling stone for those who could not perceive what Messiah ought to be. In the hands of man truth is a weapon, in the hands of God truth is life.

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