Yeshua hands lifted after baptism
Helpful Tidbits for the Disciple's Life                                                                                 June 7, 2010

My Reflections
The Banqueting Table
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Have you ever presented what seemed to you an airtight and exceedingly logical argument only to have the person you're speaking with tell you they don't see it that way? I have, perhaps thousands of times. And then it dawns on you, This isn't about logic and truth, it's about one's ability (or lack thereof) to "see" and "hear." Just below you'll find a fascinating excerpt out of Tony Jones' book, The New Christians. While I don't subscribe to Jones' theology, he nicely outlines a concept called foundationalism.

QUESTION/TOPIC IN FOCUS: Ridding ourselves of the idolatry of status quo
Excerpted from The New Christians by Tony Jones
The New ChristiansFoundationalism: The theory that at the bottom of all human knowledge is a set of self-inferential or internally justified beliefs; in other words, the foundation is indubitable and requires no external justification.
Ironically, the "liberal" Christians in America and the "conservatives" suffer from the same illness. Both are beholden to a scheme that philosophers call "foundationalism," and that leads to their intractable fighting. Since their foundations are different (thought related), they are cursed to shout past one another forever, for they are each caught in a philosophical hell called infinite regression.
For the conservative, the sacred text of Christianity is indubitable, established by an internal and circular reasoning: "The Bible claims to be God's truth, so therefore it's true." Many evangelicals have a more sophisticated view of scripture than this, but they're still destined to a life of establishing the veracity of the Bible in the face of contravening evidence and opinion:
"I believe X, Y, and Z because it says so in the Bible."
"Well, how do you know the Bible is true and accurate?"
"I believe the Bible because the apostles died for its truth, and people don't die for a lie."
"What about the 9/11 terrorist?"
"The were deceived. They didn't know they were dying for a lie. The apostles had seen Jesus and lived with him, so they knew he wasn't a lie."
"What about the followers of Jim Jones and David Koresh?"
"Well, the Bible is really true because of the reliability of the original manuscripts."
"Do we have the original manuscripts?"
"No, but we have some pretty old ones that are close to the originals."
"How do we know they weren't changed in the early years?"
"Because we have faith in the historical process by which the early manuscripts were copied and distributed."
"So your faith is in history?!? Does that mean you believe that history is indubitable?"
"Not all history. Just our history."
"Based on what? Why is biblical history certain and sure?"
"Because it accords with reality."
And so on, ad infinitum (2008:18, 19).
My Reflections 
Although truth will always prevail, delusion generally wins the short race. Yeshua (Jesus) faced this repeatedly. That's why we find Yeshua often using the phrase, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." He said this because truth alone doesn't break through the wall of obstinacy.
People tend to believe lies for all sorts of reasons: it preserves our comfort, it placates our pride, it saves our energy (switching paradigms is a lot of hard work). The fact of the matter is that I, Traver Dougherty, believe in lies right now. Although I am not fully aware of all the lies to which I presently subscribe, perhaps you can appreciate the fact that I'm willing to admit I don't have the edge on all truth. And, perhaps, you might also appreciate that my posture allows me to listen to others more attentively, allowing myself to be corrected when necessary.
While some believe truth is relative, I do not. Instead, I think people are dead wrong (including me). To combat my wrongness, I work hard to be self-aware, constantly seeking to understand my cultural lenses (western, Protestant, white, pride). Perhaps that's what Nicodemus was able to do (eastern, Pharisee, Jew, pride). The point is, there is a truth to know and the only way for any of us to know it is via humility. We must let go of one of the most prominent idols around today: the status quo.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty (bio)
The Banqueting Table