2.05.2009

escaping relativism and the need for proof.

This is what we orthodox have escaped!

I have realized today that by making the claim that there is such a thing as a correct answer to the questions: a) how do we interpret the bible and b) how do we do the work of the people, that is, how do we do church?

We in the modern (post) west have been brought up to understand that due to the nature of interpretation being something that everyone does at every moment, there are as many interpretations as there are people and moments. Therefore, truth is unknowable and ungraspable, and really, there isn't such a thing as truth, because reality is only as much as can be perceived, due to Descartes and his dumb mental experiments regarding the existence of God and doubt. I think therefore I am. guh. idiot.
anyways. We as orthodox converts have inherited an intellectual tradition that is (thank God) devoid of such foolishness. Orthodox countries, ie, those outside the west, have maintained the idea that there is such a thing as truth (a correct answer) and that it can be found. quite easily actually. AND, there is no master-slave relationship between reason and faith. There is, in fact, no division because in the east, there is much less of a tendency to be dualist in thought. I have not done the proper research to tell you how this all began, but I know that it is so much a part of why the east and the west split, and also why a good many of my friends who have plumbed a fairly deep section of western intellectual history have found it wanting and jumped across the pond to a land where it is okay to not live by proof.
If we were to live truly by what we were taught in school and believe only what we see, none of us would be Christians. you can't prove God, or Christ, or the resurrection. but that is FINE, nay, GOOD. because it's not about proving the existence of God. I am never going to prove anything to you, think about Lazarus, even if the rich man returned from the dead, would that really convince the unbelievers?

naw. proof is ridiculous. and so unnecessary.

Proof flies in the face of trust, which is where relationships come from.








oh, and the platitudes from the mouths of the yoga instructors are getting funnier each time I go. but I was complimented too by one of them on how I have improved, and that was nice. I can actually do that knees on the floor in front while head touches the ground behind and holding my elbows above my head thing.


4 comments:

elizabeth said...

yes. thank God for this.

RW said...

that yoga move looks painful to me.

pasivirta said...

it kind of is. or can be. or was. yeah, it depends on the day.

Matthew Francis said...

Hey there David,

Thanks for this, and your email on Friday. I'm reading "Beauty of the Infinite" right now. We'll have to catch up about all this... in the fullness of time. Best to Laurenn and Baby Melchizedek : )