Faith, Logic, and Myth April 20, 2009Posted by Matt in Christian Beliefs.
Tags: absolute truth, faith, logic, myth, narrative, reason, The Bible, The Flood
Is there a line to be drawn between faith and logic?
Yesterday morning we were running very late for Sunday school, so I sat in the lobby for the final 10 minutes or so of class and listened to the session taking place in the auditorium (or “sanctuary” for the non-CoCers in the crowd). The lesson that morning was about Noah and the story of the flood from the book of Genesis, a subject which I generally find both interesting and incredibly frustrating to discuss. The speaker, who is somebody I love and respect a great deal, made it abundantly clear time and time again that he believes that the story is absolutely factual, perfectly correct and true in every detail. The teacher then said something that stuck in my mind and brought about the idea for this blog post. It was something along the lines of, “I have faith that the flood actually did occur and that it was global and that only Noah’s family and all of the animals on board the ark survived.”
Now, perhaps it shows an over-reliance on knowledge and reason, maybe it shows a lack of faith, but it makes me very uneasy to hear others refer to stories like this as absolute truth. The evidential grounds of a worldwide flood a few thousand years ago are shaky at best and, maybe I’m a heretic, but I have trouble buying into the idea that God would asphyxiate every man, woman, baby, and even animal as part of a grand plan.
Instead, maybe we should look at the story as what it is, a story (pdx will love this). Perhaps it is an attempt by a regional, primitive people to make sense of a natural disaster while still pointing to God as the ultimate divine reality.
So, rather than worrying about whether or not the flood (or creation, or the Tower of Babel, or any other number of stories) actually happened, maybe we should be more concerned with the overarching narrative of the story and the truths of the ideas therein.