Obscurantism is defined as a rejection of or opposition to enlightenment. The question becomes, “Is refusal to admit new insight and perspectives in one’s understanding obscurantist?” Oxford Professor Charles A. Whittuck contends that obscurantism is a primary temptation for those of religious conviction, if for no other reason that it is found more in religion than anywhere else. The term was used during the Renaissance of those who opposed the new learning, and during the nineteenth century in Catholicism of those who desired to preserve the medieval Catholic Church unchanged. From a social perspective some of the extremely conservative Mennonite communities, such as the Amish could be considered obscurantist on their very face. Another example would be Muslim Fundamentalism. Other examples while not so blatantly obvious, yet can be profoundly pervasive. The adage “I know what I believe, don’t confuse me with the facts,” describes in a nutshell the obscurantist mentality. Read … [Read more...]

Do some Christians have an inability to separate their understanding of truth from TRUTH itself?

I see a tendency that is present in each individual who studies theology. That tendency is to identify our own understanding of the truth with the truth itself. That understanding becomes so tightly held that there is the irrational fear that reality itself will come unraveled if we are to change our position or open our minds to new perspectives. One might even charge that with some degree of accuracy that the inability to separate our understanding of truth from TRUTH itself is a claim that we have, at least on this issue the complete understanding of God himself. Read the whole article: Hardening of the Categories: Why Theologians Have Opposed “New Knowledge” … [Read more...]

A Pilgrim Theology Quote

Some theologians, however, being either unable or unwilling to pursue their quarry any further, become entrenched.... They learn to tolerate unremedied paradox when unremedied paradox should be shunned. Perhaps they do so because to them the prospect of going back (perhaps even to the beginning) is too unsettling and too daunting. Rather than striking out in a new direction, or pioneering uncharted territories in search of the doctrinal Northwest Passage they hunker down and plant settlements in comfortable valleys, having decided at last that they will never reach the sea, or even continue to try. They have forgotten that, in this case, it is better to travel hopefully and never to arrive than to settle prematurely. To that extent, then, their theological settlements are a failure of nerve. Fatigue and uncertainty have made it seem more desirable to plant roots than to look around one more doctrinal bend or to climb up and peer over one more theological hill. The spirit of pioneering … [Read more...]

Placing a Bible Verse in the pattern of Sound Words (2 Timothy 1:13)

I continue to study and work on how the bible frames the demands of the New Testament Law upon unbelievers since we have a new lawgiver Jesus instead of Moses. This concept of framing is very important because to now see every verse in its Canonical framework can make us misuse texts. Paul says to Timothy: "Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 1:13 ESV). Notice that we are not just to follow the words but the pattern (the framework) of sound words. That means we must place every scripture into its proper Biblical frame to understand it. A Scripture (on the runway) is like s puzzle piece that must be put into the frame made from from other scriptures at the 50,000 foot level in order to see the passage in light of the progress of redemptive history as a whole. If we put it into a wrong frame we will get a wrong understanding of the meaning. This is something I am studying with great effort … [Read more...]