Logical “proofs”?

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Truth as “logic” has often interested me. That is a construct of modernity. In the early days of the church up through the enlightenment, truth was not logic – it was beauty, romance, poetry. Where in scripture do we have logical proofs for anything.

Do we have logical proofs for creation? No…we have narratives, stories, poetry…nothing that can stand without question

Do we have logical proofs for worship? No, we have songs and poems in the Psalms.

Do we have logical proofs to back up the prophets teachings? No, we have Amos on a soap box; Jonah inside a fish, Hosea lamenting his loves unfaithfulness.

Do we have logical proofs for the Incarnation? No, we have stories.

Resurrection? Ascension? Pentecost? NO!

We have the testimony of women. We have Matthew saying, “They worshipped and doubted.” We have tongues of flames and a shaking house and the amazing transformation of cowardly disciples speaking in languages they didn’t know and being called drunks.

The constructs of modernity (the need for LOGIC for something to be thought of as true) came during the Enlightenment and began in the Christian tradition with Friedrich Schleiermacher. Though a case could be made that it started with Augustine et. al. who wanted to appeal to REASON, not beauty, as proof for God’s existence.

What’s been happening in post-modernity has been the collapse in the trusts of reason as a philosophical foundation. If you’ll forgive me for copying and pasting something…this is the introduction to my doctoral dissertation (describing the changes happening in what is called post modernity):

“Massive cultural shifts are occurring in contemporary society. The reasons for these cultural quakes are many, but all boil down to the conviction that human reason, which gave birth to fantastic advancements in science, industry, and technology, has failed to keep its promises. The underlying assumption of the Enlightenment or Modern Era was that human reason, freed from tyrannical forms of government and superstitious religion, could provide humanity with a peaceful and prosperous world. Such a world has not been born. Rather what we see is worldwide oppression, racial and ethnic bigotry, rampant hunger, the destruction of the environment, the spread of political and sectarian terrorism, and the technological ability to destroy all life on the planet in a matter of minutes. Instead of a world of peace and prosperity, human reason has helped bring into being a world filled with even greater turbulence and poverty.

“Those who are observing the death of modernity recognize that human culture is also giving birth to something new. Currently society is in a period of transition, a time of tremendous shifting paradigms from the assumptions of modernity into something new and different. Many who are studying this cultural phenomenon refer to this period of transition as postmodernity.”

The need to whole to “logic” or “logical proofs” neglects the fact that TRUTH has for most of human history be seen in terms of poetry, arts, music, and beauty (romance, if you will).

Interesting, the need for logic influenced the rise of both liberalism and fundamentalism (both are born not of the beauty of revelation, but of the need to make the faith rational–provable). Consider not only Schleiermacher on the left, but the books trying to prove the Bible using science to advance a six-day creation, an actual global flood, etc.

I am trying hard to find ANY sort of truth that can be logically proven (in terms of science, philosophy, etc.) Really there is nothing.

This is not to say that scripture is irrational, unreasonable, or without internal logic…but that such things are not a PROOF of God’s existence or anything else related to God’s self-revelation.

Now, in the scripture and history there is much in terms of romance, beauty, intimate love, relationship, etc. that has led many of us to believe that God has revealed God’s self as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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