continued: epistemology of the game

But where do we get the solid ground of divine truth to which we must attend as a primary fact of theological work? How do we escape the abysmal notion that it's turtles all the way down? Everything is conditioned. Even our faith is a culturally mediated reality in the moment that we reflect upon it. Given by God, sealed by Christ, the work of the Spirit in us, yes, all of that, but in mediate ways or else unknown. The church is of all things most culturally mediate; its traditions a chain of conditioned realities; the scriptures human witnesses writing after the fact at best. Ah, but that last is a clue: witnesses. Aftershocks, bomb craters, dry stream beds, mineral traces, footprints, the backside of God after he has passed. Hidden in revelation. A pointer to what is not there now. You hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. Collapsed wave functions, one and all. This is why the game doesn't end, and why the end of the game is the beginning of heresy.

God is not the phenomena. God isn't even the simplest explanation for the phenomena. If you believe, the phenomena help to illustrate God. If you do not, they will not make you believe. Natural theology is always a failure as an a priori enterprise. Negative theology works no better than positive theology. There is no guaranteed path, theological or otherwise, that takes us to God. Only paths guaranteed by God's action in the ways God comes to us, given flesh for us by the witnesses of history. The whole theological enterprise is built first upon trust in God, and only second upon evaluation of evidence.


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