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Lee J. Ballard
- Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: Tapa blanda
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition," Voltaire tells the Prince of Prussia, Frederick the Great, "but certainty is an absurd one."
I'm not entirely sure I agree with Voltaire on this one, but I will say doubt and certainty are both my constant companion. I have always felt caught in the middle between two powers, intellectually speaking. My commitment to secular progress, rationality and open-mindedness sometimes feels at complete odds with my commitment to my Christian faith. And vice versa. So, when browsing the bookstore earlier this summer, I stumbled upon The Myth of Certainty by Daniel Taylor, I felt like, just maybe, there was someone else out there like me. The back cover reads: "Do you resent the smugness of close-minded skepticism on the one hand but feel equally uncomfortable with the smugness of close-minded Christianity on the other? If so, then The Myth of Certainty is for you."
The Myth of Certainty: The Reflective Christian & the Risk of Commitment is a fascinating read for someone like me who has been steeped both in academic liberalism AND conservative Christianity. All subcultures require certain degrees of uniformity; all institutions, secular or religious, require a certain degree of unquestioning loyalty. The Church's job on earth is to be Bride of Christ, to witness and to serve. As Taylor points out,
"Certainly these are the goals of the church, realized here and there, now and then. The parallel reality, however, is at the same time the church is an institution which operates, consciously or not, like other human institutions.
The primary goal of all institutions and subcultures is self-preservation. Preserving the faith is central to God's plan for human history; preserving particular religious institutions is not. Do not expect those who run the institutions to be sensitive to the difference. God needs no particular person, church, denomination, creed, or organization to accomplish His purpose. He will make use of those, in all their diversity, who are ready to be used, but will leave to themselves those who labor for their own ends.
Nonetheless, questioning the institution is synonymous, for many, with attacking God."(pp. 29-30)
Every question raised becomes a mini-crisis of faith. Questions make people uncomfortable, in whichever subculture you find yourself in, religious or secular.
". . . each group is impatient with the recalcitrant who wants to retain parts of both worlds. Conservative Christendom will allow you to think, as long as you think 'correctly,' or keep dangerous thoughts to yourself. The secular world will allow you to be a Christian, as long as your faith is kept in quarantine and not allowed to influence your judgments or lead to you to question secular presuppositions." (p.60)
That is the difficulty addressed in this book.
The Myth of Certainty is a fascinating read and I should like to recommend it mostly to those of you who are firmly in one of the opposing camps, whether firmly secular or firmly conservative Christian. Taylor's honest approach is refreshing and non-threatening. Both sides could learn quite a bit about the other from this. In addition, it might just open some eyes to the condition of "reflective Christian".