Thursday, May 10, 2007

Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.

Recently I came across this story about a woman who was offended/insulted by the quip on her Starbucks cup (Woman expresses indignation at quote on Starbucks cup).

The unhappy woman was/is Michelle Incanno, a married mother of 3 who is a Catholic (but may or may not be an "Evangelical Catholic" and the story did not report as to her membership status in the Evangelical Theological Society). (HT Gunny)

The thought provoking comments were attributed to London, Ontario, Starbucks patron Bill Schell (likely not a Catholic nor an Evangelical). The comments were part of Starbucks' effort to "collect different viewpoints and spur discussion." I have appreciated this bit, on occasion, but I too would not have been a fan of this one.

Printed on the cup was:
"Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure."
In a very Modern way, he encourages us to not look up or out, but within. Trust in humanity, for we have the power to overcome.

Doesn't he know that's so Modernity? Doesn't he know we've lost our "faith" in humanity?

Anyway, she was offended by that, which is understandable. He basically criticizes people for being dumb and/or weak in punting their responsibility to act.

"As someone who loves God, I was so offended by that. I don't think there needs to be religious dialogue on it. I just want coffee," said Incanno.

It's funny to me. The whole bit has been, you're not just buying a cup of coffee, you're buying the experience. Yet, here we have a woman who doesn't really want the experience they're trying to offer, she just wants her cup of steaming Joe.

But, hey, if I was a non-believer like Bill Schell, I would likely give him a hearty, "Amen." Our faith doesn't make sense to him, but that's the nature of our foolishness. In the same way, one must realize the limitations of trying to use reason to prove to someone why he/she should believe in God and/or be a Christian.

There's a supernatural element involved whereby the blind cannot see and the message of the cross will be foolishness to those without the Spirit. But those who have been regenerated to see the beauty and majesty of the Savior and have experienced the fullness of a God of love can endure whatever may come.

That's why John Huss (a forerunner to the Reformation) could stand strong though it meant being burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415, by the church. As Huss stood before the stake he reportedly said, "In the truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached, I die willingly and joyfully today." Incidentally, he proved to be a prophet when he said, "You are roasting a poor Bohemian goose, but in 100 years there will arise a swan whom you will neither roast nor boil." I don't know if many would refer to him as a swan, especially since Pope Leo called Martin Luther a wild boar (i.e., pig) in his papal bull of excommunication, Exsurge Domine.

Folks like Huss can live lives that perplex and maybe even disappoint others, but that's the nature of our supernaturally enabled faith in the supernatural One. It's not a blind faith or an unfounded/ungrounded faith, but it's faith nonetheless and faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.



At 10 May, 2007 11:45, Blogger Rev. said...

I read the story earlier in the week. The comments didn't offend me so much as they *affirmed* my faith. Scripture speaks of the lost as being blind, dead in sin, thinking the things of God are foolishness, etc., etc. (to which you allude), so I expect such attitudes/comments from "pagans."

Speaking of the limitation of reason/'proving' God's existence, did you catch Nightline last p.m.? It was K. Cameron & R. Comfort going head-to-head w/ the RRS/Blasphemy Challenge crew of two. I respect our boys, but thought I caught a glimpse of the "typical" reaction of a Christian who goes into the arena with a non-Reformed perspective. Namely, "WHOA! Why didn't those folks listen to the reasoned/ logical persuasion given to them to prove God and disprove falsehood? Why were they so angry?!?"

At 10 May, 2007 11:48, Blogger Rev. said...

With Beckwith playing on the other team now, what do you think the chances are of the Pope apologizing for the martyrdom of Huss and the threat of martyrdom to Luther? Hmmmmmmm?!?!?

I'm fairly certain we're still under the heresy banner created at Trent for sola fide, despite Vatican II. Think there will be a Vatican III? Or was that ECT?


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