Thursday, November 26, 2009

Certainty isn’t Unrealistic or even Optional

My response to a postmodern Christian who doubts that we can have certainty:

Although postmodernism has some valid things to say about the way we’ve done theology and legitimately warn us to be more self-critical, I think it has gone too far. There are many things that I can be quite certain about, including things about our faith. For instance, it is historically certain that Jesus died on the cross. Lee Strobel wrote, “Both Gerd Ludemann, who is an atheistic NT critic, and Bart Ehrman, who is an agnostic, call the crucifixion an indisputable fact.” And for good reason! There are just too many incontestable historical accounts verifying this fact.

In fact, so much of the Bible is about the need for certainty. Moses doubted that Israel would believe him that God had sent him back to Egypt to get them out. Therefore, God sent him back with miraculous signs so that Israel could be SURE that God was with them (Exodus 4:1-9). We too need certainty. I had been shriveling up without the certainty of Christ’s love for me!

Even logically, we can’t doubt that we can have certainty. When someone says, “You can’t be certain about these things!” I merely reply, “Are you CERTAIN that I can’t be certain?” If he claims that he is certain about uncertainty, then he contradicts himself. If instead he is not certain about his claim, then he has to be more tentative about his dismissal of certainty.

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