>I was reading a book the other day and I stumbled onto an interesting idea. It comes from the great contemporary theologian Miroslav Volf.
I am headed to Big Tent Christianity this week and next week will start a series of post on reading the Bible. Here is something to think (and talk) about
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. As Christians we will assert this as the truth. But we cannot assert it as absolute knowledge, we can not assert as the final truth. Short of becoming God, humans cannot possess the final truth… All Christian beliefs are our beliefs, human beliefs and as such always provisional beliefs. We assert that they are true; but we make this assertion provisionally. I called this provisional certitude. There is, if you want, an absoluteness about our beliefs: We cannot relinquish our standpoint but rather assert that it is true. So the ground on which we stand as we act and reflect his firm. Yet we assert our standpoint as true in a provisional way: we believe our beliefs are true. This hinders us from becoming arrogant and oppressive.
This is a fascinating idea for the 21st Century. I think it holds something for us.
Later he takes it up even another notch when he adds “if we understand our views as provisionally true, we will have to understand the views of others as possibly true.”
Now that is some epistemic humility for ya !! That might take some getting used to.
February 10, 2011 at 2:59 am
>This keeps us in the place of being human and essentially prone to flaws. I think it is great to embrace this concept, as long as we can hold our both provisional beliefs and the concept that there is room for us to be mistaken in a dynamic tension that keeps us from abandoning either.