Monday, May 15, 2006


Andrew Sullivan has a problem with 'Christianism', but his real problem is with Christianity:
And there are those who simply believe that, by definition, God is unknowable to our limited, fallible human minds and souls. If God is ultimately unknowable, then how can we be so certain of what God's real position is on, say, the fate of Terri Schiavo? Or the morality of contraception? Or the role of women? Or the love of a gay couple? Also, faith for many of us is interwoven with doubt, a doubt that can strengthen faith and give it perspective and shadow. That doubt means having great humility in the face of God and an enormous reluctance to impose one's beliefs, through civil law, on anyone else.

As a conservative Christian, but not really allied with the Religious Right per se, much of this strikes me as a dodge rather than his claimed 'humility'. Of course God is unknowable except through revelation, which is what the Bible is. Now if he doubts the Bible as a source (I hear doubt brings 'perspective and shadow' to faith *cough* *cough*), then why is he--or how can he be called--a Christian? The source of knowledge we have about Christ is Scripture. If you doubt Scripture then you can't really believe in Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God. If you don't believe that then you aren't by any reasonable definition a Christian. The same Bible that reveals Jesus as the Son of God also reveals certain moral truths. Jesus stated "If you love me you will keep my commandments."

Once one recognizes Jesus as the Son of God that then necessitates certain allegiance to Him. Submitting oneself to His will is what humility is. It's not saying, "I refuse to acknowledge anything other than what I want to do." That's narcissism.

Or maybe I just need more perspective and shadow...


susanna in alabama said...

I have always found it extremely bizarre when people who claim to be Christians talk about how the Bible can't be proven, and we don't know that men haven't changed it over the years, etc ad nauseum. First, we can know those things to a pretty incredible extent. Second, if you don't believe the Bible is what it says it is, and that what it says about Jesus is true... how can you claim to be a Christian? What's the point? It becomes an exercise in "exploring my spirituality" rather than "worshipping and serving God" - in other words, about me, not God. Which pretty much describes the majority of "religion" today.

Jeff said...

Does Sullivan really claim to be a Christian? That would be truly odd.

"Narcissistic" is certainly one of two words I'd use to describe him, the other being "unstable."

Joel said...

Well said Susanna.