Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The unknowable conclusion

This morning I woke up with the most obvious conclusion in my head. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Many conclusions can be reached, but this is the foundation. All other conclusions - perhaps better called consequential policy, are contingent. Even morality is contingent on faith, as Paul writes - whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

This does not imply that God will not show mercy to those whom we consider not to have faith. That double negative should be so obvious. Why is it that our minds slip into conclusions without evidence and without logic? It is clear, however, that God is in a merciful covenant with all who have believed. Even the last and the middle verses of Lamentations confirm this.  "Unless you have utterly rejected us."  It is not hard to hear the faith in this sentence.

Such faith is not without cost, as the Song puts it, it is the cost of 'coming up from the desert'. And as Lamentations teaches, it is the faith that continues even in the exile. Such faith is as stubborn as the spirit exhibited by atheist and agnostic in what might appear to be furious attacks on their perception of the false conclusions of those who to them seem to have faith without any foundation except their own self-deception or wishful thinking.

Why attack your own perceptions of others' faith? (The stimulus for my irenic response is here.)