Summary of Contention
Let me package my weirdness so you can decide with minimal effort whether I am worthy of your attention. It’s not a sales pitch, because I really don’t mind rejection. I just want to make sure your rejection is fully informed.
The most important thing to know about me is my epistemology. That’s a fancy word meaning basic assumptions about knowledge — what is knowledge and issues of validity. Often unstated is the test of what knowledge is: What can we do with it? The whole thing rests on your basic assumptions about reality, things we don’t debate, but we might describe them so you’ll know what to expect. I’ve outlined my epistemology before and it should answer those who really need a longer explanation.
If you were raised in any part of Western Civilization, you are under a heritage, a background of influences which include the Enlightenment. Pertinent point: Western Civilization at its core is Aristotle filtered through the ancient Germanic tribal culture. It’s not entirely rational, but carries a very deep stain of irrational assumptions. But then, Aristotle comes to us through Greek Mythology, too, so purity is simply not a reasonable point of contention in the first place. It can be boiled down to saying Western Civilization is inherently materialistic, worships youthfulness, and recognizes only what can be measured (owned and controlled) by human perception.
Christian theological assertions are tacked onto the outside of this and do not fit. Fundamental assumptions about reality are inherently hostile to any claims of the Gospel. By standing your Christian witness on the ground of Western Civilization, you foolishly weaken your claims, because they are excluded before you start. People do still come to spiritual life, but do so in spite of your folly. Meanwhile, you are derelict in building a witness on sand and miss out on a host of rich blessings freely offered, but unavailable to those who reject God’s ways on this earth.
I cling to Hebrew epistemology (asserting it is also not the same as Jewish). Hebrew epistemology is a particular branch of Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) epistemology. Aristotle rejects the ANE, and quite bluntly so. The ANE regards Aristotle as a subordinate clause, a lower default acceptable for very limited use. Thus, ancient Hebrew intellectual assumptions about reality include much of what Aristotle taught, but don’t give it much weight. Hebrew is not the enemy of Aristotle, but Aristotle is the enemy of Hebrew.
Of particular importance to what I do here is my assertion that holding to the Western epistemology guarantees you cannot understand the Bible. Your subconscious mind will be imbued with an arrogant assumption you do understand it, and better than those who wrote it. That’s wrong. Further, the Hebraic approach is what God designed as the proper viewpoint for humans in this world, so if you don’t embrace it, you fight God.
Good luck with that.