This web log is being added as a place to conduct a conversation on the elusive nature or features of listening to and following God's will. That is, it is concerned with the "how and why" of seeing with Eyes of Faith. The currently identified areas of concern are as follows:
- How God's prompts are routinely manifested in one's life,
- What emotional, spiritual or intellectual factors enhance or detract from our ability to "hear" God,
- What emotional, spiritual or intellectual exercises will help us improve our attentiveness to God's will,
- How does an emotional, spiritual or intellectual crisis impact the foregoing,
- In what ways has/does God get our attention or communicate to/with us that are exceptional -- in the sense of being non-routine -- for us,
- What, if anything, from all of this can be universalized, and
- What is/can be known about spiritual development?
Besides the "how and why" it is also about the "what." What does one see in the world through Eyes of Faith? This component of the weblog is, alas, likely to be the preponderant content for some time. There are fundamental axioms that I propose here for what it means to "see with eyes of faith." Seeing with eyes of faith is ultimately about viewing the world as a creature of a personal God. Thus, the axioms are:
- That God exists and is the ultimate, transcendent, non-contingent being.
- That God is concerned with the fate of humanity, and indeed has a design and a plan for humanity.
- That God reveals himself to humanity, and has done so definitively.
Beginning from this point, I have concluded that God has revealed himself in the events of the Old and New Testaments. For example, God revealed himself to Moses, a bronze age primitive, as the "ultimate, transcendent, non-contingent being" in the words "I am who am." [Exodus 3:14] This, and other Old Testament scripture passages, go a long way toward validating the vision of faith in a personal God represented by these three axioms. Similar arguments can show a deep connection with the experience of Jesus recorded in the New Testament. That is to say, the axioms are validated by the collective experience, known in the Judeo-Christian tradition, as "public revelation." These axioms are also validated by my person experiences, notably my conversion experience in 1987.
Thus, in a very general way, these axioms are an important starting point for seeing with eyes of faith, taken together with the following hypothesis of the philosophy of science,
- That physical reality consists of phenomena that are ultimately ordered by inherent causal, relational laws, incorporating deterministic and/or random elements, which are discernible via observation, experimentation, preliminary, refinable theoretical presuppositions, and, finally an orderly process of induction, deduction and analogical reasoning.
This axiom, which is a refinement of Plato's axiom of realism, is diametrically opposed to the axiom of nominalism,
- That physical reality has no specific structure, or no structure that is ultimately discernible, but human beings impose structure on reality through a repetitive observational process coupled with inductive generalization that is entirely circumstantial, and ultimately unrepeatable, in nature. A more traditional way to say the same thing is "ideas represented by words have no real existence beyond our imaginations."
I claim that the axiom of nominalism is the foundation of what has come to be known as "anything goes" relativism, the position that human experience and human truth is ultimately non-comparable in a public way. By contrast, the fundamental axiom of science, the axioms of faith and two additional axioms (of "statistical and functional evidence" of God's will) lead to Natural Law.