Thursday, April 5, 2007

Question from a Reader about "Honest Christians"

A reader, "me," [an unfortunate username] on one of Julia Sweeney's Forums with the title "Atheist view of why Christians believe?" asked a question there about one of my blog entries. Me would have posted the question here but then a computer lockup stopped that from happening.

Here's what "me" posted:

Thanks for the blogspot reference. I checked it out and read some of what you had to say. Pretty interesting. Some things I didn't understand though. I didn't really understand this one completely: "Honest Christians are in principle possible, but are short-lived creatures. When the moment of truth and crisis of faith comes, another cannot say. Before that moment comes, before the realization comes that faith is questionable, it is possible to speak of authentic faith, but an authentic believer cannot know that his faith in God is "authentic." Once he does, the sincerity of his faith disappears in a puff of questions and uncertainties."

[unrelated material deleted] So, in that light - could you explain more about what the quote above means - especially the part about how an authentic believer cannot know that his faith in God is "authentic"?

As it was meant in context, in "authentic faith" the object and concern is not with "faith" per se, but with God, Jesus, Truth, etc. in what the believer has his faith. Once faith itself, however, becomes an object of reflection and concern, questions and doubts can and do arise. "Faith" sooner or late becomes an object of empirical investigation, and that never ends well for faith.

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