Another blogger got me thinking about how we understand the world. I didn't realize when I responded to her that my response was based on different emphasises of the Quadralateral.
Do you understand your faith by doctrine? Do you "take by faith", the doctrines in the creeds, without tearing apart the doctrinal truths to see if they correlate to sicentific inquiry? Or do you understand your faith as a lifestyl with others is lived out within the community of faith? The convictions that bind you together are those that define "your world" and sometimes it clouds your "sight" to see or understand differences in approach to faith, after all, these have given their life to these "commitments" and "values". Or do you think that faith is more about understanding and knowing God?
Doctrine is based on a tradtionalist's view, while lifestyle is an experiential view. Reason upholds a theological view, and Scripture is multivaried, depending on which view is primarily driving "faith".
But, though these views all define different people of faith, there are others that define their faith apart from belief systems, and institutions. These people would be understood as agnostic or atheistic in their belief.
The agnostic holds that though we seek God, we cannot know him, because God is beyond our capacity to understand and grasp. One must live within the contexts that define one's life and understand that all men have sought to understand and explain God, throughout the Ages. These are the scientifically minded, as they re-define God, or explain things in "new ways". The Academy defines the faith of the agnostic, as the Academy helps to keep reason humble, because of the vastness and diversity of human knowledge.
The atheists doesn't seek to understand or define God, as God is irrelvant, in their book, in helping to solve the world's problems. These like to be pragmatic in their approach to life and its problems in this world. They do not like the "sweet by and by", or "pie in the sky" promises or imaginings. But, these can be arrogant in their approach to life when it comes to their own reason, and to people of faith. And this is when problems occur in structuring government or laws that allow diversity of views that don't discriminate as to difference.
The agnostic is really atheistic in practicality because the basis of understanding the world is not faith, but the disciplines. Those that seek to understand "faith concerns" will study the philosophy of religion, or history of traditions, or religious studies, etc. And these will find in their "camp" people of faith and people without faith ( in the traditional sense).
So, how do you understand the world?
Arvo Pärt at St. Vladimir’s Seminary
3 hours ago