Are All Positions Faith Positions?

At the end of my last post I mused openly about the nature of metaphysics (and the limitations therein), but I also mentioned something about revelation – which needs a bit more explanation.

Essentially (at least in my mind anyway) the gist of my argument is that all positions are essentially faith positions. But I add this caveat: some positions are more faith-based than others. While Coyne has to put some sort of faith in the legitimacy of his theory on altruism, so too does Douthat with his own justification (God as the explanation). But knowledge of God rests on revelation. I’ve noted that it’s secondhand. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It’s just that, for me, there is too much tension between revelation and more rational epistemological systems. Presuppositional apologetics have much to say on this subject (it’s been discussed here before) but in my humble opinion presuppositionalism rests on rationalism while at the same time expounds on its inadequacy.

For me faith is more existential, perhaps in a Kierkegaardian sense (without denying the importance of scripture).

This is a back-and-forth for me. I think openly and I’m not afraid of criticism. Whenever I try to adopt a system (theological or otherwise) I feel like I’m adopting an ideology, but I have too many questions to keep myself in a self-imposed box. So I’m just not going to do it anymore – the name of this blog is WaughThinks. I like to think about things, to explore them. I like to explore ideas and possibilities – and if it takes me off the reservation sometimes, so be it. At least I’ll be honest with myself and with others.

I think I need to change my theology page…

4 thoughts on “Are All Positions Faith Positions?

  1. You know, I had to go look up every second word you used in that post,…well maybe that was a slight exaggeration but I think I did manage to glean your train of thought. How can one ever go wrong by being open minded. Going somewhere is a matter of progressing toward a specific destination, if you stop and park it in one spot, because you think you know it all, then you will never arrive , will you? All of creation is about movement at every level, and so how does anything ever arrive? How can anyone ever claim to have the whole story. We are all readers of yesterdays news.

  2. If memory serves, you have reminded us in the past, in the words of Socrates, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” For the persistent search, laudo te — provided we keep Chesterton’s quip in mind, that “the object of an open mind is much like that of an open mouth: to shut it again on something solid.” No, the journey isn’t the destination–the destination is the destination. In asking we can receive, in seeking we shall find, and in knocking it will be answered. We can know (Deut. 29:29).

    That said, to your question, I believe scripture teaches a solid “yes.” Everyone responds to the revelation of the true God in creation (which revelation is perspicuous, authoritative, etc.) with either liberating embrace or enslaving rejection. Rom. 1:18ff. And, if we believe in creation ex nihilo, then everything in creation is what it is only because of its place in God’s decree. And if this is so, then there is a correct interpretation of reality as well as a wrong one. This is really all that’s behind presuppositional [covenantal] apologetics: there are only covenant breakers (in Adam) and covenant keepers (in Christ)–no neutral zones, no sidelines. “He who is not for me is against me.” “He who is not against me is for me.” Against Christian theism, every other position falls under the an-apologia (“without an argument”) condemnation in Romans 1. Which means that all interpretation, all ethical reasoning and all acting, are condition by that core heart condition of faith or unbelief.

    Thus ends my blustering. Always appreciate your blog, my friend.

    • As always I appreciate your thoughts, Aron. I guess my question is: How does one decide which is the correct interpretation of reality? That’s where I trip up time and time again. Why should one accept revelation as authoritative? Can anyone truly avoid some sort of discursive reasoning process when thinking about such things? Presuppositional/Covenantal apologetics seem to give theism a certain insularity to criticism. Of course, that does not mean theism is wrong, or that revelation isn’t possible. What I wrote at the end of my post, “Metaphysical Malpractice” sounded like radical skepticism. I really didn’t mean for it to sound that way.

      But I guess what I am saying is that I feel like it’s impossible for theism to somehow be the default mode (metaphysically and epistemologically). The reason I say this is because you have to use reason (i.e. rationalism) to support theism – it’s unavoidable. I think covenantal apologetics is self-contradictory for precisely that reason.

      Maybe we should do our Q & A over this topic? Let me know what you think!

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