Posted by: Botolff | April 28, 2009

The quest for certainty.

In “Why Good People Do Bad Things,” Dr. James Hollis writes…

“So much of our popular theology and our consumer pondering psychology, is fear driven, for their greatest appeal is the implicit promise to dispel those fears.  It is my belief that the psychological and spiritual maturity of an individual, of a group, even of a nation, is found precisely in its capacity to tolerate ambiguity and ambivalence, and the anxiety generated by both of them.  It is the psychologically immature, the spiritually jejune that lusts for certainty, even at the expense of truth, rigorous investigation, and consideration of alternatives.

Nothing really important will prove simple.  Denial and shallowness never prove worthy of what Socrates called ‘the examined life.’  The examined life will oblige us to consider that all issues, all issues, have more than one facet to consider, that our capacity for self-delusion is very strong, that we are always at least part of the problem, and that we will ultimately walk right into what we have fled, sooner or later.  What is wrong with saying, ‘I do not know; I do not possess certainty; I think this is a fascinating journey and I am open to discovery?’  Why should this simple confession require so much courage?”

Oh what the proclamation of our discovery of the “Truth”  has done to distract us Christians from our fear of it, need for it and pursuit of it.


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