« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2007, 03:21:13 AM »
Chrysostom took a similar approach... leaving one with a very unstable epistemology, IMO.
"Let us then, knowing this, not enquire into things relating to God by reasoning, nor bring heavenly matters under the rule of earthly consequences, nor subject them to the necessity of nature; but let us think of all reverently, believing as the Scriptures have said; for the busy and curious person gains nothing, and besides not finding what he seeks, shall suffer extreme punishment. " - John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on John
"For many doubtful reasonings there are, which set the soul, as it were, on fire, many difficulties, many perplexities, but all of them faith sets entirely at rest; many things does the devil dart in, to inflame our soul and bring us into uncertainty" John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Ephesians
"Let us put a curb upon our reasonings. Let us not transgress our bounds, nor the measures that have been assigned to our knowledge. For, 'If any man,' he says, 'thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.'" - John Chrysostom, Homily 7 on First Thessalonians
"For where there is not faith, there is not knowledge; when anything springs from our reasonings, it is not knowledge." - John Chrysostom, Homily 18 on First Timothy
"But, in short, when God doeth anything, reasonings are of no use; " - John Chrysostom, Homily 66 on John
"For nothing causes such dizziness as human reasoning, all whose words are of earth, and which cannot endure to be enlightened from above. Earthly reasonings are full of mud, and therefore need we streams from heaven, that when the mud has settled, the clearer portion may rise and mingle with the heavenly lessons; and this comes to pass, when we present an honest soul and an upright life." - John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on John
"Be then in nothing over-curious, nor demand reasonings. Our religion needs faith" - John Chrysostom, Homily 19 on Hebrews
"There is nothing worse than that man should measure and judge of divine things by human reasonings. For thus he will fall from that rock a vast distance, and be deprived of the light. For if he who wishes with human eyes to apprehend the rays of the sun will not only not apprehend them, but, besides this failure, will sustain great injury" - John Chrysostom, Homily 2 on Second Timothy
"Faith is all. If that establishes [it], the heart stands in security. It follows that Faith establishes: consequently reasonings shake. For Faith is contrary to reasoning." - John Chrysostom, Homily 33 on Hebrews
Here are some more...
John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Matthew
John Chrysostom, Homilies 2, 7 and 25 on John
John Chrysostom, Homily 5 on Colossians
John Chrysostom, Homily 11 on Philippians
John Chrysostom, Homilies 1, 5, and 17 on First Timothy
John Chrysostom, Homilies 2, 15, and 22 on Hebrews
Maybe you're worshipping a devil and you just don't know it? How can you verify, beyond a subjective, vague, "faith" experience? You can't. A reasoned faith and an unconditional faith and a blind faith are only different in one way: how far you go in investigating before you decide to no longer ask criticial or skeptical questions. Yes, you can argue that atheists do this as well, that everyone does; that's not what is at issue. What is at issue is whether such a methodology is justifiable in this particular Biblical-God case. How can you ever trust God? What evidence is there to trust him? Is he all he is cracked up to be? But wait! Christianity says that if you have doubts, stop asking questions. Stop using that silly brain that God gave you, and just believe (unless you are muslim, hindu, buddhist, pagan, etc. etc., then keep reasoning and don't have faith in your beliefs). It's all a very nice little (closed) system. As long as you play by the Christian rules, you'll always remain a faithful Christian. But, maybe, if you were to question the actual rules of the game...
In any event, regarding the first post, one line doesn't seem to be enough to judge a man's beliefs on.