Statesboro, GA, USA
I don't believe that the Bible is the true word of a Creator. I believe there are truths to be found in many religious doctrines.
But why are you sure these two beliefs are mutually exclusive? I also believe that there are truths to be found in many religious doctrines. We of course still have to decide which is right, when those doctrines really do contradict. The uniqueness of Christianity lies in the work and person of Christ, not in the surrounding religious truths that many religions already accept. There is no claim that it is wholly different from other religious beliefs in every way.
As for knowing what one believes to be true, how can that be and why would that person need faith if they know?
Questions and threads that are statedly about this subject kind of rule out the “shoving” of beliefs charge, right? So with that clarified, I would like to honestly try to answer your question.
I would like to ask you whether or not you “know” things for which your evidence is not total. Faith has often wrongly been described as a romantic notion held despite obvious falsity. But that’s not what Christian faith is. The kind of faith described in the Bible is never described in terms of a mere shot in the dark, and yet never as something like statistical certainty either. It is not contrary to evidence; It is even confirmed by evidence, though it recognizes that what is seen will always be partial. (By the way, this is also true of any kind of knowledge). But in addition to having confirmations in the natural world, Christian faith is also based upon what Theologians have called “Special Revelation”. So in addition to natural correspondence to what “faith” says, there is always a necessary element of trust. The interpretive aspect of "evidence" demands it.
Let me ask you this. To you, does faith mean to belief without knowledge? If so I’d like to ask you ... Have you ever believed anything that was true on someone else’s word, that you weren’t able to totally verify for yourself (at least for a time)? If so, at least you can understand that knowledge and faith need not be contradictory.
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-03-2008 11:34 PM).]