De-ReConstruction Class 2—Picking and Choosing

Your Comments: Things You Want to Talk About

Being under / accepting / respecting spiritual authorities but what about when they’re on the other end of our splinter? Don’t want to pick or choose
How to know what is true from the Bible when there are so many interpretations.
A better understanding of how I can deconstruct/reconstruct and still find value in the faith I'm left with...essentially, how can I de/reconstruct while not feeling like I'm picking and choosing what I want to believe.

The Honest Truth (from my perspective)

Everyone already picks and chooses what they believe.

Critical Realism: We will never have anything other than a situated and perspectived access to truth

This is not the same as Relativism, which states that all perspectives have equal claims to truth.

There is no such thing as purely objective access to truth. Truth is mediated through our senses, situation, and community.

Question: How many people attended Trump's 2017 Inauguration?

  • Does this question have a knowable answer?
  • How does our perspective affect our ability to answer?
  • How do we respond to those who offer "alternative facts"?

Question: Who goes to hell and for how long?

  • Is this knowable in the same way that the above question is knowable?
  • How does our perspective affect our ability to answer?
  • How do we respond to those who offer "alternative facts"?

A Framework Of Knowing Things: The Wesleyan Quadrilateral

How do we access truth?

What about when that truth is...intangible? Subjective?

Dallas Willard's Four Core Questions

  • What is reality?
  • What is the good life?
  • What does it mean to be blessed?
  • Who is a good person? How do you become a good person?

N.T. Wright's 7 Broken Guideposts. What is—

  • Justice
  • Love
  • Spirituality
  • Beauty
  • Freedom
  • Truth
  • Power

Experience/Conscience

Conscience is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual's moral philosophy or value system.

  • Conscience can be gaslit
  • NAE, "As evangelicals, we believe that moral revulsion or distaste for the death penalty is not a sufficient reason to oppose it."
  • We, of course, don't agree with everyone else's conscience. "It's against my conscience to wear a mask."

Reason

Science, logic, philosophy, historiography

Tradition

The passing on and honoring of other's Experiences and Reasonings.

Tradition is deeply affected by one's culture and community.

A key question is, How do I view those outside of my tradition and community?"

< -- Interesting Perspective --------------------------------------------Going to Hell-->

But what about things that seem outside of tangible, material experience?

Scripture/Sacred Writings

  • Mike McHargue's Axioms. "The Bible is AT LEAST a collection of books and writings assembled by the Church that chronicle a people group's experiences with, and understanding of, God over thousands of years. EVEN IF that is a comprehensive definition of the Bible, study of scripture is warranted to understand our culture and the way in which people come to know God.

Why Does Deconstruction Happen?

Deconstruction happens when one of those 4 begin to conflict with the other.

  • "What if the universe is more than 6,000 years old?" (Reason conflicts with a particular reading of Scripture)
  • "What if my understanding of gender/sexuality is causing LGBTQ incredibly amounts of pain? (Experience/Conscience conflicts with a Tradition)
  • "How can God be completely loving and send people to an eternity of pointless suffering?) (Scripture conflicts with Reason)

Discussion

In your groups, take turns talking about a Splinter, a place where your Experience/Reason/Tradition/Scripture conflicts with your Experience/Reason/Tradition/Scripture.