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John Locke on Faith

First Comment!

Hooray for my first reader comment!

I want to encourage interaction at my blog, so I’ll reproduce the comment and my response:

 

A friend asked:

“What does ‘faith’ mean in this context? To come later?”

He wanted to know what I mean by faith. I wrote back:

“Here faith means trusting God. It means believing that God has spoken, and believing God’s promises. Faith comes at the conclusion of a reasoning process–not as the presupposition to it.”

Knowledge in the Bible

I surveyed the Bible to find its position on the status of knowledge. Does the Bible say knowledge/certainty is impossible to the unbeliever? Actually, I found that sinners can know many things. What they can’t know is the deceit of their own heart. But they can know good and evil. In fact, it is for knowing the good, yet choosing the evil, that people are condemned (Romans 1-2).

Below is a set of verses to help combat the mystical approach to knowledge (presuppositionalism). We see the common-sense view of knowledge: we learn by observation and reasoning. People come to faith because they see evidence; seeing leads to believing.

Knowledge plays a huge role in Scripture. In these verses we find a treasury of insight about what knowledge is possible to man and about how knowledge works. Enjoy!

Inductionism: A Philosophical System

In this blog I advocate the principle that “if we will live,” we must choose to value our own lives, our reason, and our faith. I seek to reproduce my philosophical convictions in other people. For the sake of clarity, I’ve created an outline of my system. This and future posts will expound my system.

A philosophical system must answer three basic kinds of questions: What kind of world is it? Why am I able to know it? How will I act? The central tenets of my philosophy are epistemological objectivism and a Christian morality of rational self-interest.

How to Surrender No Premise

When disputing or discussing, it’s common to grant an opponent’s premise for the sake of argument. But we don’t always need to, and it’s not always desirable.

Take this example:

One who supports “Planned Parenthood” and the harvesting of infant body parts argues as follows:

“I thought that according to Christianity all babies go to heaven anyway. So why do you care?”

See what the person is doing? He’s not advocating for his own position, but seeking merely to reduce the Christian view to absurdity.

Was Thomas’s Doubt Reasonable?

“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Was he right to say this? Thomas didn’t tell us his epistemology. We don’t even know his attitude as he said those words. I suspect he was trembling, not indignant.

Was Thomas being reasonable? It seems ambiguous.