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Thread: The Justification of Religious Belief

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    It seems to me that Christianity is to be experienced, the doctrines do not just sit on a shelf:

    "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." (Ps. 34:8)

    "Simon Peter answered him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.' " (John 6:68–69)

    Though along the lines of what tabibito said, we may start with pure faith, but this will turn to sight, "we have come to believe and to know."

    "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (1 Cor. 13:12)

    Blessings,
    Lee
    It sounds like you are saying that Christianity must be experienced by a particular person in order for that person to know whether it is true.

  2. #12
    tWebber ReformedApologist's Avatar
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    If you would like some good sources on this issue you might read Alvin Plantiga's works. In addition there is a book called Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson.

  3. #13
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReformedApologist View Post
    If you would like some good sources on this issue you might read Alvin Plantiga's works. In addition there is a book called Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson.
    I've read Plantinga before. He advocates what is called Reformed Epistemology. He says that belief in God can be rational even if one does not have any evidence or arguments for it. Belief in God is a properly basic belief. Plantinga teaches that if our cognitive faculties are working properly and we are in the appropriate circumstances, we can develop a belief in God.

  4. #14
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet View Post
    I've read Plantinga before. He advocates what is called Reformed Epistemology. He says that belief in God can be rational even if one does not have any evidence or arguments for it. Belief in God is a properly basic belief. Plantinga teaches that if our cognitive faculties are working properly and we are in the appropriate circumstances, we can develop a belief in God.
    There's also the witness of the Holy Spirit, which I take to be sufficient justification to believe in God, and the Christian worldview, and all which that entails. And that can obviously not be classified as either evidence, or arguments, because it's a first person, subjective experience that you cannot use as a legitimate reason with which to convince anyone else to believe (as in, multiple people can, and do, experience the indwelling of the Spirit, but each persons experience is accessible only to themselves).

  5. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
  6. #15
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    There's also the witness of the Holy Spirit, which I take to be sufficient justification to believe in God, and the Christian worldview, and all which that entails. And that can obviously not be classified as either evidence, or arguments, because it's a first person, subjective experience that you cannot use as a legitimate reason with which to convince anyone else to believe (as in, multiple people can, and do, experience the indwelling of the Spirit, but each persons experience is accessible only to themselves).
    I agree. I would like to add that the Holy Spirit opens a person's heart and draws people to Christ. Believers have a direct awareness or perception of what the word of God is.

  7. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
  8. #16
    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet View Post
    It sounds like you are saying that Christianity must be experienced by a particular person in order for that person to know whether it is true.
    I would agree with that. Perhaps knowing Christ is like being married - the experience can be had, and known about; but it is too irreducibly personal & dialogical & inward to be replicated for purposes of external observation, as though it were a dead butterfly under a microscope. There is no academically or scientifically “neutral” or “objective” way of testing for the reality of the saving knowledge of God. And besides, it is a sin to test God. A million proofs by Homer Simpson cannot prove there is no God, because all such proofs are mere word-shuffling that cannot prevail against the Reality of Who God is. This BTW is one of the reasons that it is silly and a waste of time to try to test the efficacy of intercessory of prayer by praying, and not praying, for different groups of patients. Such untheological naivety is fit only for savages. If even savages are that foolish. Some follies are so great as to be possible only to very civilised people.

    My confidence in the usefulness of reason as a means of apologetic is pretty much nil. Reason, however useful in other ways, is far too feeble to “justify the ways of God to man”. Because arguments based on reason can always be answered or exploded. To have knowledge about God, revelation by God is essential.
    Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 06-30-2019 at 06:08 PM.

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