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I saw Undercover today


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I don't know that Ojo would be to troubled by the brain in a jar conundrum, and to be honest, I think that makes the skeptic's point better than the Christians. Ojo is not an atheist. He has stated as such to me in recent interactions in e-mail and Facebook exchanges (Ojo is an artist I have had interaction with for over a decade, when I sent a letter, troubled by accusations of the band getting drunk made by a young upstart band. He called me on the phone and briefly conversed about it). My greatest regret when I was in L.A. for a few months in 2004 was that I never got a chance to take up Ojo on his offer to hang out. It had been a few years, and I was surprised to see when I met up via Facebook last year that Ojo had been asking himself the same questions as I was asking myself.

One of the things I have noticed is how people *do* pile on. I am sure he would appreciate that being a concern of yours, SDG. The problem is, Ojo didn't arrive at this out of hate or bitterness against God or religion. He considers his churched years positive ones and still loves spending time with his Christian friends. And yet, people want to lob pretty harsh accusations. And of course, some critics latch on to the fact that he started questioning "because of a girl." Of course, I fail to see the problem with that. Specifically because if you reverse the situation...if you had Ojo talking about how he did not believe in God...and then he met this cool lady, but she would not go out with him...then he finally just asked why. He explains how she told him she was a Christian and she could not date a guy who did not know Christ... and he was stunned. He hadn't expected that... he started to question and investigate...and one night he gave his life over to the Lord! Christians wouldn't deride him for that. It would be one of the funny ways God used to meet a person where they were at.

The funny thing I find from reading Ojo's interactions with people is that he is far more graceful to his critics than they are to him. I saw a guy state that he was not willing to listen to Undercover's music. He was afraid they would lead him down the same path as Ojo. In spite of the fact that all of their music was written when every member was a professing Christian.

I confess I found this bit from Trott troubling:

When I appeal to my experience at conversion and in the thirty-eight years since — which you seem less than impressed with — I appeal to data more readily to hand than most of the data such “religious” conversations churn up. I know I met Christ. You do not know that.

He's right. I don't know that. The problem is...Jon has no evidence. He backs it up with what amounts to "I am sure of it!" Yeah, Ojo (or myself) cannot say he has definitely not met Christ. And that was the very point I started to question. When I realized I was going off of "a feeling I had that it was true."

I also find it immensely frustrating that so many Christians think, "walking away" is so darned easy. That it is "comfortable". In spite of the fact that each time I tell a friend, it becomes harder and harder. And the exploration has been painful. And the things that people presume are always flat out wrong. It has nothing to do with how "hard" the Christian life is. Or fear of having to give things up. For me, the greatest fear was losing the comfort that faith so easily gives. No, sticking with faith and ignoring the doubts? That is where the comfort is. Looking into the questions? It's hard. It hurts. And the reaction from Christians to presume it was anything but a tough process? That is like a dagger in the heart. And it makes wanting to return less and less attractive.

Amen on all points! ;)

Ojo is so full of grace. He is not an angry-at-God atheist. His questions reverberate with my own. I have been asking many of the questions, too. This has happened to me before many times, going through a period of doubt, and then getting some revelation of God's love for me and all is well. For awhile. But this most recent period has been deepening for years.

Can you tell me a bit more about your own journey? I can say more later about mine. Gotta get ready for work!

Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

--T.S. Eliot--
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Nezpop wrote:

: He called me on the phone and briefly conversed about it).

The phone! I envy you. It's been nothing but e-mails between him and me, going back to... I don't know how long. Certainly on the Undercover email list, which goes back to before the turn of the millennium, and possibly even at rec.music.christian back in the '90s.

(Side note: I wrote regularly for a magazine between '97 and '09, and I even exchanged e-mails with the editor last week, talking about a possible return to writing once the kids are in kindergarten this fall. But I have never, ever spoken to the editor on the phone, or met him in person. I once began to listen to a podcast posted by his magazine a couple years ago, but when I realized it was his voice coming over the speakers, I turned it off, to maintain the mystery.)

: I confess I found this bit from Trott troubling . . .

Yeah, me too. "I know I met Christ." Really, Jon? How do you know that? Even YOU need some sort of evidence to convince you of that, even if it is not the sort of evidence that could be reproduced for anyone else's benefit. What is it?

: The problem is...Jon has no evidence.

Well, he does have "my experience at conversion and in the thirty-eight years since". But what IS that experience? What actually HAPPENED at that conversion? And why should anyone else interpret that evidence the same way Trott does?

: I also find it immensely frustrating that so many Christians think, "walking away" is so darned easy. That it is "comfortable".

Yeah, I find that frustrating too.

What makes this whole discussion so interesting, to me, is that Ojo's music played a huge part in keeping me going with my own faith during what you might call "my darkest hour", in the early to mid-'90s. Branded and Devotion were especially important albums to me at the time. And come to think of it, Ojo owned (or co-owned) the record label that put out some of my other favorite "questioning" or "theologically incorrect" artists back then (e.g. the 77s' Drowning with Land in Sight, or Daniel Amos's Bibleland, the album with 'Theo's Logic').

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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: I confess I found this bit from Trott troubling . . .

Yeah, me too. "I know I met Christ." Really, Jon? How do you know that? Even YOU need some sort of evidence to convince you of that, even if it is not the sort of evidence that could be reproduced for anyone else's benefit. What is it?

I'm not sure I agree that the statement "I met Christ" is the kind of statement for which I need what would normally be called evidence in order to be convinced of it myself. If faith is a gift of God, if God gives the Holy Spirit to believers attesting that they are children of God, then I may legitimately believe that I have met Christ simply because I have in fact met Christ, just as I may legitimately believe that I ate dinner last night, or that I am married to Suz.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Ah, but is "knowing" something the same thing as "legitimately believing"?

And, of course, if anyone asked for evidence that you had eaten dinner last night, or evidence that you were married to Suz, you could (in theory) produce it quite easily, couldn't you?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ah, but is "knowing" something the same thing as "legitimately believing"?

I think I would be willing to say, pursuant to a proper definition of terms, that if one legitimately believes something that is true, then that constitutes an act of knowing, yes.

And, of course, if anyone asked for evidence that you had eaten dinner last night, or evidence that you were married to Suz, you could (in theory) produce it quite easily, couldn't you?

Good question. I could produce evidence that I am married to Suz, certainly. But if I ate dinner alone last night, and if Suz couldn't vouch for the contents of the fridge, how could I produce evidence for that?

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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SDG wrote:

: I think I would be willing to say, pursuant to a proper definition of terms, that if one legitimately believes something that is true, then that constitutes an act of knowing, yes.

Well, I'd rather talk about the objective, even practical, realities here than haggle over semantics.

The point here is that Trott and Ojo are arguing about evidences for the faith, and it seems to matter to Trott that Ojo is "less than impressed" with the evidence that Trott "appeals to". A corollary question, of course, might be why Trott himself is so "impressed" by this evidence: how do we check our subjective experiences against any sort of objective reality? Whenever I have doubts about my memory, I turn to journals, books, videos, etc. What does Trott turn to? And what could Ojo turn to in similarly sifting through Trott's "evidence"?

I don't mean this as a purely rhetorical put-down. I don't know the circumstances of Trott's conversion, but if, say, he suddenly lost the urge to do drugs at that point in time, or if people who knew him saw a great change in his personality, or something like that, then these could certainly be pointed to as evidence that SOMETHING had happened. It might not be enough to convince someone that he "met Jesus" -- there might be other explanations that one could offer -- but it would at least give other people something to work with.

FWIW, I also don't "get" this bit that Trott utters a few sentences later: "But I know something in the deepest way one can know it — with a synthesis of heart and mind unlike anything except perhaps the 'knowing' one speaks of between husband and wife." Suffice it to say that not everyone has a "deep" knowledge of his or her spouse, and those who think they do are often shocked to find out they don't. So I'm all in favour of modesty when making claims about one's relationships, whether those relationships are with a spouse or with God. (And, boy, if Ojo really has gone through two divorces -- I knew about one, but not the other -- then could Trott's analogy here be any more ill-advised?)

: But if I ate dinner alone last night, and if Suz couldn't vouch for the contents of the fridge, how could I produce evidence for that?

Hence my parenthetical use of "in theory". There could be photos, for example (digitally stamped with the time and place of their taking, even, as photos these days are wont to be).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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: The problem is...Jon has no evidence.

Well, he does have "my experience at conversion and in the thirty-eight years since". But what IS that experience? What actually HAPPENED at that conversion? And why should anyone else interpret that evidence the same way Trott does?

And why is Ojo or anyone else supposed to accept that Jon's experience trumps their own (I have responded and asked Trott this on his blog, but last I checked it was still in moderation)?

That is the problem of experience...it is really individual. And the experience of, say, Augustine, doesn't overrule the experience of anyone now living.

I certainly find it a fascinating discussion...I, like, Ojo have not ruled out finding better evidence that is more convincing to heart and mind. And like Ojo, I am surrounded by Christians who I like and hold dear.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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: I think I would be willing to say, pursuant to a proper definition of terms, that if one legitimately believes something that is true, then that constitutes an act of knowing, yes.

Well, I'd rather talk about the objective, even practical, realities here than haggle over semantics.

How does this objection relate to my earlier comments about believing because God has given one the gift of faith, and being aware of the testimony of the Holy Spirit in one's heart?

: But if I ate dinner alone last night, and if Suz couldn't vouch for the contents of the fridge, how could I produce evidence for that?

Hence my parenthetical use of "in theory". There could be photos, for example (digitally stamped with the time and place of their taking, even, as photos these days are wont to be).

But the availability or non-availability of such evidence wouldn't in the least affect the validity of my knowledge that it happened. And even photographs couldn't prove that it happened over against the thesis that we are brains in vats, or that the universe started in medias res last night at a minute to midnight. There are still things we believe without any possibility of proof.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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SDG wrote:

: How does this objection relate to my earlier comments about believing because God has given one the gift of faith, and being aware of the testimony of the Holy Spirit in one's heart?

Believing because one believes (because one haves "the gift of faith") is a tautology. I'm not sure it's evidence of any kind.

You can assert that your belief came from someone else, if you want to, but if your assertion is going to be anything more than a mere assertion, then you're going to have to produce some sort of evidence beyond your say-so.

: But the availability or non-availability of such evidence wouldn't in the least affect the validity of my knowledge that it happened.

It might affect how "impressive" your knowledge was to anyone else, though.

: There are still things we believe without any possibility of proof.

Quite so. But if, as Philip K. Dick said, reality is whatever refuses to go away when you stop believing in it, then I think it's safe to say that people like Ojo may find themselves in a place where science hasn't gone away but Jesus has. Which saddens me, even just to write those words, but there it is.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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SDG wrote:

: How does this objection relate to my earlier comments about believing because God has given one the gift of faith, and being aware of the testimony of the Holy Spirit in one's heart?

Believing because one believes (because one haves "the gift of faith") is a tautology. I'm not sure it's evidence of any kind.

You can assert that your belief came from someone else, if you want to, but if your assertion is going to be anything more than a mere assertion, then you're going to have to produce some sort of evidence beyond your say-so.

: But the availability or non-availability of such evidence wouldn't in the least affect the validity of my knowledge that it happened.

It might affect how "impressive" your knowledge was to anyone else, though.

: There are still things we believe without any possibility of proof.

Quite so. But if, as Philip K. Dick said, reality is whatever refuses to go away when you stop believing in it, then I think it's safe to say that people like Ojo may find themselves in a place where science hasn't gone away but Jesus has. Which saddens me, even just to write those words, but there it is.

That IS sad, Peter. Because when I go through periods of skepticism and doubt, somewhere inside me I am depending on Jesus to show up and show me he's here, some way that's tangible only to me.

And even in saying that, the fact that we are saddened by the loss of faith in Jesus is a sort of withholding legitimacy.

I do wish, when people are struggling with such questions, that they would talk about it. In my experience, they don't start talking about it until it's too late, if you know what I mean. I recently had a young man who's been friends with my kids for a long time write to me about losing his faith in Christ. I mistakenly assumed that he was in the throes of questioning, but apparently his doubts began years ago, and he was ready to throw in the towel.

My question to him was this: Is it God you no longer believe in or the things you've been taught about God? Which are of course two different questions.

Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

--T.S. Eliot--
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: How does this objection relate to my earlier comments about believing because God has given one the gift of faith, and being aware of the testimony of the Holy Spirit in one's heart?

Believing because one believes (because one haves "the gift of faith") is a tautology. I'm not sure it's evidence of any kind.

How does this relate to your preference for focusing on objective, even practical, realities rather than haggling over semantics?

"Believing because one believes (because one haves "the gift of faith") is a tautology." No, it isn't. It's a linear account of a process. God gave me faith, and so I believe. There's a lot more I can say about it, but ultimately it really does begin and end with that, I think.

"I'm not sure it's evidence of any kind." It's not. It's an account of knowing something without a necessary reliance on evidence.

You can assert that your belief came from someone else, if you want to, but if your assertion is going to be anything more than a mere assertion, then you're going to have to produce some sort of evidence beyond your say-so.

Here is what I was responding to: "'I know I met Christ.' Really, Jon? How do you know that? Even YOU need some sort of evidence to convince you of that, even if it is not the sort of evidence that could be reproduced for anyone else's benefit. What is it?" This is not a question of an assertion being more than an assertion. This is a question of whether or not one can know Christ without needing evidence of knowing Christ.

: But the availability or non-availability of such evidence wouldn't in the least affect the validity of my knowledge that it happened.

It might affect how "impressive" your knowledge was to anyone else, though.

True, though a separate question from the one you posed rhetorically to Mr. Trott.

: There are still things we believe without any possibility of proof.

Quite so. But if, as Philip K. Dick said, reality is whatever refuses to go away when you stop believing in it, then I think it's safe to say that people like Ojo may find themselves in a place where science hasn't gone away but Jesus has. Which saddens me, even just to write those words, but there it is.

I could quibble with Dick's definition, but it wouldn't affect the sadness of the conclusion. And so the discussion must move beyond the legitimacy of believing without reasons (which I think can and must be defended) and into reasons to believe (which are also important).

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

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Can you tell me a bit more about your own journey? I can say more later about mine. Gotta get ready for work!

Well, Church has always been a part of my life...I made a commitment to Christ at a young age, my parents sent me to Catholic school (they were not Catholic, and my Dad has issues with the Catholic church-oh the "humor" at Grandma's funeral-a staunch Catholic-last year when the Priest asked all the Catholic members of the family to stand...and nobody stood). Right on into high school and beyond, I remained passionate... of course, music was a big part of that...the Choir, Daniel Amos/Swirling Eddies, Mad At the World, Steve Taylor...I was big into the Christian alternative scene.

Anyways, the journey moved along swimmingly...I would have times where I stopped going to a particular church, but I never stopped believing in God and Christ as saviour. I went to L.A. for about four months in 2004. I got hooked into a church there (got to meet a couple people I knew from my days of writing for 7ball). I was trying to get my feet planted, and I wanted to have a spiritual home in L.A. Ultimitely I packed up and went back to Minnesota and got involved in a Churched I had walked away from. I got involved in the video ministry. All was good.

I had certainly went through the highs and lows...the excitement faith brings as well as the down times. And faith in Christ got me through plenty of hard times.

But a couple of years ago, I got asked tough questions...what was my evidence? And I realized I had nothing that was not tied to a sense... a feeling. I was sure there was a God, but I could not produce unique evidence that could not be disputed...

The phrase that came to mind was the heart cannot embrace what the mind cannot accept. Apparently this came from Josh McDowell... a family friend recently used it on me...but I have held it to be true for a few years. I had started to look at how easily I and my friends wrote off other belief systems as silly, but took it for granted that our ideas were true at face value. Because when you believe, you can accept the baggage more easily.

This was coupled with my doing a complete read through of the Bible (my church gave out those Bibles that have you read a bit of OT, NT and Psalms each day throughout the year). I found myself troubled by much of what it showed of God...God looked more and more like someone reflective of us...petty, jealous, self absorbed, angry and attention starved. These qualities just did not match up with what I thought I knew God to be...they are poor qualities in people, yet somehow, I was supposed to see them as righteous qualities? Righteousness seems quite arbitrary. It became harder to ignore those things that did not gel with what I believed to be the qualities of the God I knew...but then, maybe the God I knew wasn't real either. When I would talk about my doubts, people would try and pin my down to saying I was still a Christian, recommend a book or two and it did not come up again. The problem is, when I step back, changed lives are not as impressive as some folks seem to make them out to be. If you accept your religion is true? I am not surprised you start making choices that reflect what you perceive the values your religion to be. I cannot say that this change is proof of the truth of Christianity...other people are sincere that they have met their religion's God and live by those tenants and are changed people as well. Because hey, when the mind accepts, the heart embraces.

I still am reading various stuff...I am open to the possibilities. I was thinking about Jesus' comments that the whole of the law is encapsulated in Love the Lord your God with all your mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself. Instead, shortly thereafter, the Apostles seemed to get just as hung up as the pharisees on what the rules are. If, instead, Christians had sought to keep those two tenants...if that was all we had...what would the Christian body look like?

These are the rambling things I deal with in my head. :)

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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But a couple of years ago, I got asked tough questions...what was my evidence? And I realized I had nothing that was not tied to a sense... a feeling. I was sure there was a God, but I could not produce unique evidence that could not be disputed...

And in the end, why is it so terrible to only have feelings?

The burden of possessing "unique evidence" only creates anxiety with me in regards to traditional evangelism and the notion of selling Christianity to others for their salvation. But I'm done with that.

I've found that to admit that the warm and connective things about God exist solely in the realm of feelings and that our reliance on them makes us no different than other people of faith around the world, is a liberating thing. So what if that's all we have?

Edited by Greg P

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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Flannery O'Connor, writing about a dinner party at which the subject of the Eucharist came up:

Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.

That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.

Likewise with a Christianity of feelings. If it's just feelings, the hell with it.

Suppose Jesus is not risen from the dead? Pope Benedict, in his latest book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection, offers an uncompromising answer:

... it would still be possible to piece together from the Christian tradition a series of interesting ideas about God and men, about man's being and his obligations, a kind of religious world view: but the Christian faith itself would be dead. Jesus would be a failed religious leader, who despite his failure remains great and can cause us to reflect. But he would then remain purely human, and his authority would extend only so far as his message is of interest to us. He would no longer be a criterion; the only criterion left would be our own judgment is selecting from his heritage what strikes us as helpful. in other words, we would be alone. Our own judgment would be the highest instance.

Only if Jesus is risen has anything really new occurred that changes the world and the situation of mankind. Then he becomes the criterion on which we can rely. For then God has truly revealed himself.

Those are the alternatives. I've made my choice, and I can respect Ojo's choice. I can't see attempting to split the difference.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it.

That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.

Likewise with a Christianity of feelings. If it's just feelings, the hell with it.

That belief in God or Christ sits precariously, like an inverted pyramid, on the head of a single tradition or denominational distinctive, is far more irrational to me than some supposed Oprah-esque spirituality. (If not the Eucharist, then insert where applicable: "If God doesn't still perform miracles, then...", "If God doesn't answer personal prayer then..." "If the Bible's not the infallible word of God then..." etc)

I for one think there's more than feelings to Christianity.

But I'm also honest with myself. I know I didn't bow my head and pray to accept Jesus based on objective, historic realities. Ultimately, emotions and other frontal lobe activities created a "connection" with God that has stood the test of time. This kind of admission is not going to win debates with Christopher Hitchens, but who cares? I think it's a healthy thing to deflate the innate religious pride in human nature and admit to oneself (out loud to others if necessary) "With regards to faith in God, it's possible all I have is based on feelings."

Along the way-- over 27 years-- I've studied the historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth in great detail and found it less compelling in many regards and more fraught with error than I initially imagined. In other words the Case for Christ has not gotten stronger. But I still believe.

And it's what I often feel echoing thru music and the arts, nature, romance, silence and solitude--not church or organized religious structures-- that keeps me believing in Him.

Edited by Greg P

"The things we enjoy are channels through which the divine glory strikes us, and those who love and delight in any good thing may yet learn to love God." --Gilbert Meilaender

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That belief in God or Christ sits precariously, like an inverted pyramid, on the head of a single tradition or denominational distinctive, is far more irrational to me than some supposed Oprah-esque spirituality. (If not the Eucharist, then insert where applicable: "If God doesn't still perform miracles, then...", "If God doesn't answer personal prayer then..." "If the Bible's not the infallible word of God then..." etc)

By way of clarification, "it" in Miss O'Connor's sentence refers in both instances not to Christianity, but to the Eucharist. Expanded, her sentiment would read, "If [the Eucharist] is just a symbol, then the hell with [the Eucharist]."

Also, FWIW, although I understand your perspective, the historical reality is that belief in the Eucharist as more than a symbol is far from "a single tradition or denominational distinctive," unless that tradition is "historic Christian faith." But that discussion would go too far afield, I think.

I for one think there's more than feelings to Christianity.

Good. There is, for a fact. There is, at the very least, a central, foundational historical claim -- a claim that is either true or false. If it is true, then there is more to Christianity than feelings -- there is truth. If it is false, then again there is more to Christianity than feelings -- there is a lie.

But I'm also honest with myself. I know I didn't bow my head and pray to accept Jesus based on objective, historic realities.

And when I bow my head at the name of Jesus every Sunday in Mass, that is not "based on" objective historical realities -- but it does presuppose objective, historical realities. If God is not God, then my bowed head is a meaningless, empty gesture. No more meaningless and empty than everything else, perhaps. But no less either.

Ultimately, emotions and other frontal lobe activities created a "connection" with God that has stood the test of time. This kind of admission is not going to win debates with Christopher Hitchens, but who cares? I think it's a healthy thing to deflate the innate religious pride in human nature and admit to oneself (out loud to others if necessary) "With regards to faith in God, it's possible all I have is based on feelings."

I can acknowledge this as a theoretical possibility I can't disprove, in the same way that I acknowledge that with regards to faith in the material universe, it's possible that all I have is based on sense impulses that could be generated by a powerful malevolent being. As a practical matter, though, I believe in the reality of the world and in the reality of God.

Along the way-- over 27 years-- I've studied the historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth in great detail and found it less compelling in many regards and more fraught with error than I initially imagined. In other words the Case for Christ has not gotten stronger. But I still believe.

Good for you. FWIW, my finding is somewhat different. The evidence cuts along different paths than I would once have tried to plot, and the case is stranger than I would have guessed. But not less compelling, to me. Possibly more so.

And it's what I often feel echoing thru music and the arts, nature, romance, silence and solitude--not church or organized religious structures-- that keeps me believing in Him.

Me too (except for the "not" part).

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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