Sunday, April 28, 2013

Veritas vos Liberabit

The last 2 books I've read have been confessions of faith: From Home to Rome by the Hahn's (Former Calvinist Protestant pastor/wife team and now apologists for the Roman Catholic church) and The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosario Butterfield (a former postmodern lesbian scholar, now a married Reformed Presbyterian pastor's wife). Both are compelling testimonies. Both are encouraging and convicting and exhort the reader to own and embrace their life and faith, to ask hard questions, and to search for Truth until it's found.

What I found especially interesting in reading them back to back was the discussion by both of Sola Scriptura. Both left their faith traditions because of this doctrine- one finding a fullness of the charismata in another Christian Tradition (Catholicism rather than Protestantism), and one finding Christ, the Son of God (leaving behind Paganism)
Perhaps it's a small point but I was struck by how this single concept was law and limiting for one and grace and freedom for another.

I'm working through postmodern theory and social constructivism and how you can narrate your way into or out of whatever you will or want. It's a lazy way of living, imho, if this is your worldview (rather than a tool to use), because it never takes responsibility. It does not assign cause and effect, it never asks the hard questions. It does not search for Truth until it's found. In fact, there is no big "T" Truth, there's just my truth and your truth and my meaning and your meaning, and a whole lot of feeling, kookookachoo. Which doesn't bode well for anything requiring covenant, because hey, nothing is objective, it's just my subjective and your subjective which leaves profound concepts like marriage for life in the dust and honoring relationships expendable and covenant laughable. I think the conversation on Fireproof sums it up, "When Catherine and I got married, we were in love. Today we are two very different people." Well, duh. But for many, that is reason enough for divorce and dissolution and kids left with vague relations instead of parents that live with them and love them sacrificially, albeit imperfectly.

Butterfield does a whole discussion on hermeneutics and worldview and the importance and relationship between the two.
Traditional hermeneutics is the study of the interpretation of written texts, especially texts in the areas of literature, religion and law
Worldview is the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. 2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.

There is a feedback loop between the two and they inform, critique and define each other. (don't you just love the MFT cybernetic influence here?)  I hear a lot of talk in the homeschool and Protestant community about worldview- and what a good curriculum to teach it is, but very much less so about hermeneutics. Which I think is problematic. Because, while we might hold the "correct" worldview, if we don't have a way to critically study the text, we are stuck in law, not walking in the Way, not on the path of Truth (because law always gets us stuck and unyielding- even if that is the law of license and postmodern me-defined, emotionally feel good kookookachooism).

The thing I appreciate about both of these authors is that they are willing to check their presuppositions and hold them accountable hermetically. Both the Hahns' and Butterfield were trained to explore the Truth of the text. While Butterfiled was a post-modern, she was a scholar, just one who had not, as of then, encountered a Word that was living and sharp as a double edged sword. As a trained scholar, the text must hold true to itself, which is how she came to a place of faith in Christ. The veracity of truth always supports itself, which is why people of faith should never be afraid of scholarship.

Stories like the Hahn's and Butterfields compel me. They compel me because they are about people who are willing to give up their worldview for one that challenges them and train wrecks them based on hermeneutics. The authors gave up not only their world view, but their careers, their relationships, their way of living. They gave up all of that for something unknown and unsure. And they committed themselves to the Truth. It wasn't a new Truth. It was the Truth, newly discovered by them.

While it might appear that Hahn and Butterfield are creating their own truth- after all, they both came to different conclusions based on one compelling idea: Sola Scriptura, I don't believe that this is so. It's not a post-modern hermeneutic or worldview that they came to. They both earnestly sought the meaning behind the words, they were compelled by something bigger than themselves, something challenging and unsafe. God took them to different conclusions about how to live in obedience. For both it meant giving up doctrinal idols, and laying down the life they knew for the life HE offered.

And that is the vast difference I see between people of faith who disagree and those without who disagree. A post-modern lives for themselves and their interpretation.  It is a predatory existence, full of law and license, which ever fits the situation and the needs of the moment. Faith lives for Truth, regardless of what it will bring you, what you must sacrifice, what you must do and leave un-done. It is the ultimate freedom, even while being enslaved.

Veritas vos Liberabit.
The truth will set you free 


Lisa said...

Beautiful post!

LaughingLioness said...

Thank-you, Lisa! I felt like there was so much to process from both of these books!