Sunday, January 31, 2010

Can we even know about God?

There is one objection that threatens to destroy this blog before it even gets off the ground. I have stated my purpose as being "the pursuit of knowledge, particularly of the spiritual variety, and...learning what it means to love God with one's mind." However, I am not ignorant of the fact that there are those (including some reading this post) who would deny that knowledge of God is even possible. If they are right, then my efforts here--and indeed the efforts of Christians in general--are essentially futile. As such, it is only fitting that I devote my first (real) post to this objection.

There are several reasons that I believe that knowledge of God is possible. The first is by experience. As you will see in the "Featured Video" on this page, belief in God can be accurately compared to belief in other minds. Aside from the three solipsists in the world (those who believe that only they exist), most of us think without any particularly compelling argument that we are not alone in the world and that those beings that we communicate with daily are in fact real. For those of us who have experienced God, this is reason enough for belief and, I believe, even knowledge. After all, if you begin telling me about your friend George, I do not interrupt and demand that you provide some evidence to me that George really exists before you continue. However, I realize that this experience-based belief, while sufficient for the individual, is not enough for the skeptic. But don't fret; this isn't the only basis for knowledge of God.

The second way we can have knowledge of God is by what John Calvin called the sensus divinitatis. This is basically the innate perception of God had by all humans by virtue of being human. Christians hold that humanity was created 'in the image of God' and with the express purpose of being in relationship with Him. As such, there is a universal aspect to humanity--call it an existential longing, a 'God-shaped void,' whatever--which recognizes the need for something more than self, something transcendent.

Maybe you are saying, "But I don't have this 'divine sense.' What about me?" Well, we also believe that this sense can be suppressed. There are many ways to do this, but they essentially all boil down to a rejection of God's will in favor of your own. Still not convinced? That's alright; there are several other avenues to knowledge of God. But they'll have to wait until next time...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to blogGNOSIS! I sincerely hope that you enjoy the appearance of the blog now before you, as it took more work than I care to recount to achieve its present form.

As you have probably discerned from the clever title (many thanks to my friend HL Hussmann for the suggestion), this is a blog devoted to the pursuit of knowledge, particularly of the spiritual variety, and to learning what it means to love God with one's mind (as commanded in Matt. 22:34-40).

My goal is to educate and engage both like-minded and not-so-like-minded readers with the radical claims of Jesus and how those have been worked out in the lives of believers over the years. To this end, there will be many interesting posts on all sorts of things relating to Christian apologetics (theoretical and conversational), theology, philosophy, physics, etc. There will probably even be some nice intentional controversy from time to time (I'd love for you to wear out my comment form). This will all begin soon, I promise, but for now I'll just say thanks for stopping by.

If the above sounds like something that might interest you, whether you think you'll agree with my basic position or not, PLEASE subscribe using either the attractive orange RSS link to the upper right or the 'Subscribe Via Email' gadget just a ways below it (or even BOTH!). Also, please check out the links and blogs at the bottom of the page at your leisure, as well as the 'Featured Video' selection on the right (this will change periodically). I don't know about you, but I'm excited. This could be good for both of us.