This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
If I remember the argument, a person may come to believe that God exists based on evidence x; then come to know God personally; then may come to believe that evidence x is faulty. In such a situation, should they stop believing in God? Lewis's answer, if I remember is no, because now they have personal knowledge of God, and it is commendatory to go on believing in someone when one knows them personally. The analogy he gives is of someone who continues believing in the faithfulness of their spouse, despite evidence to the contrary. There is something to be commended in this behavior. -- Bilbo (still can't remember password)
About having "personal" knowledge of Jesus. I know lots of people. We see and hear and clasp hands with each other, we take turns speaking with one another, having a conversation. That's what knowledge of a person constitutes.Having "personal" knowledge of someone mentioned in a 2000 year old book not even written by that person is another matter. A book that contains so few words of Jesus they could be put into a 16 page booklet, as I've seen done and sold in a Christian bookshop, "All the words of Jesus." And that theologians spend years studying the times of Jesus in order to understand those words and parables, and still hold conflicting opinions concerning them. So what is "personal" knowledge of Jesus? A feeling? Like someone gets after falling in love with a character in a novel? Answers to prayer? All answers to prayer are interpreted by us as well, either yes, no, or later.
Ed wrote: "So what is "personal" knowledge of Jesus? A feeling? Like someone gets after falling in love with a character in a novel?Answers to prayer? All answers to prayer are interpreted by us as well, either yes, no, or later."I guess I can only answer from the experiences of my own life, which spans some 40 years. Profound experiences closely associated with what I took to be God. Answers to prayer, including deliverance from sinful habits. Changes for the better in my character, which came from faithfully trying to do what I thought God wanted me to do. Yeah, I've been through a lot with God. Or rather, God has been through a lot with me. At this point in my life, it would be a personal betrayal for me to deny Him, even if all the philosophical, historical, and scientific evidence that seems to point towards Him turned out to be false. -- Bilbo (still looking for that password)
I am not a very spiritually aware person, but I agree with Bilbo that we can know Jesus personally.Ed, in summarising what the New Testament says about Jesus you are only addressing what a historian can go on. But once we accept, on the basis of the historical evidence, that Jesus was indeed divine, then we believe he is still alive today.And though you wouldn't believe it yourself, you can surely see that once we believe God exists and Jesus is divine and alive today, it must surely be possible that God can communicate with us in ways that can give us assurance which you cannot understand?Lewis addresses this in the essay when he says unbelievers "cannot of course be expected to know on what our assurance feeds, and how it revives and is always rising from its ashes".
Faith seems very dependent on emotion, hence Bilbo's statement about never rejecting faith in Jesus no matter what the evidence demonstrates. I've never encountered a situation in my life where it was a better choice to go with my emotions rather than my reason. In fact the only time that works out well is in the movies. They didn't have movies 2000 years ago so we got the Bible instead. Sorry guys, but everything that faith in God gives you can be achieved by atheists without all the unnecessary mental acrobatics.
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