Sunday, March 25, 2007

Belief, Brainwashing, or Both?

"Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand." - St. Anselm

For this past week's meditation, I want to do something different. I want to know what you think about this quote. I know how it has intersected my life, and I might share that tonight or tomorrow. But I want to hear what you think of it and why.

What does it say about apologetics? What does it say about belief and conversion?

What doesn't it say?

What does it say about prayer and patience? About love?


truevyne said...

What does it say about apologetics?
Perhaps it says that apologetics is unnecessary. Faith is the more essential component to understanding.

What does it say about belief and conversion?

Conversion may occur when I allow myself believe and feel comfortable with the mystery.

What doesn't it say?

Understanding doesn't necessarily come by seeking harder, but in letting go. I see a place for seeking also but not in this quote.

What does it say about prayer

To me it is the position of prayer- "God, Your ways are much higher than mine. Whisper Your Secrets into my hungry self."

and patience?

Patience can lead to understanding, not the other way 'round.

About love?

Love can be found in allowing myself to be overcome.

Reid said...

You ask many questions. If I may pose my own question, it would be, "What does it say about truth?" Truth being that which conforms to reality as God sees it, I think, requires belief for us to have understanding. Without faith we cannot receive the Spirit who alone can make known to us the mind of God. Because we are broken and longing for all things to be made whole, we cannot understand truth apart from the Spirit.

But the best questions may be, “What does it say about love?” Do we know true love apart from faith? Can we love without faith? I cannot love my enemy (if I ever do so) without being “fully convinced that God (is) able to do what he (has) promised” (Rom 4:21).

Scott Lyons said...

True, you have some beautiful responses - thanks for taking the time to answer some of those questions. I especially like your response to what St Anselm's quote says about love.

Scott Lyons said...

Reid, thanks for your thinking on this quote.

Like you, I don't believe the quote is saying that we are called to simply not try to understand, but that our belief allows the Holy Spirit to enable our minds to understand - to be light where there was only darkness.

This of course would lead to Agape - as God loves us and as we allow Him to love through us. We can love because we have been loved.

But it's still so very hard sometimes because it requires our very lives. And nobody wants to die.

But, as True said, the only way to love is to allow ourselves to be overcome. There is death there, certainly. But, oh, the resurrection that follows!