lit candles against darkness

The difference between apologetics and faith

Thinking out loud – with only a moment to spare from the tasks of the day – but maybe, just enough time for this:

The essential pillar of faith is really the sense that we don’t actually know “everything” – about anything.

The sense that none of our mental models for “the world” or “reality” are actually reasonably complete. [Who could think that?! LOL.]

That is what supports the basic attitude that, sure, lots of what we experience doesn’t “make sense,” given what we say we know. But, the idea that what we say we know is what there is TO know is just laughable. At best, we have just barely enough to go on to get to the next station down the line – so to speak.

Apologetics, on the other hand, departs from the position that we actually know what we’re talking about! We know how things are! We have some “whole” or “all of it” that we can take as not just sure and certain, but complete, “all there.” Use that as a base. Do the math. Have no contradictions. So – of course, we have to be able to come up with ways to iron out all the apparent contradictions.

And then, if we can’t, watch out.

Because “faith” built on that idea is just waiting to topple off its “rock” and smash to bits. Since it is built on what is, in fact, no foundation at all.

The only foundation, if you can call it that, is the acceptance that what is lacking cannot be counted. We don’t even begin to know what we don’t know.

If we can’t live with that, I don’t see how we can be people of faith.

People of faith are in the dark, not “the light,” if by “the light” we mean knowing “it all.” Trusting that the few things we DO trust – God, is good – will turn out to have been reliable, despite the temporary appearances to the contrary, assuming we will eventually get to a point where that can be confirmed.

It’s that acceptance of NOT knowing, rather than knowing, that really supports faith.

Image: lights in darkness, Nicola Fioravanti nicolafioravanti, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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