an argument from coherence

I will attempt to give you a brief summary of why I believe. Please understand that the evidence presented here is in no way comprehensive. Presenting a comprehensive argument from my perspective would take at least a book, if not an entire series. I am not saying that to reveal that I am somehow more intellectual than anyone here. I truly believe that we are all in this together. We are attempting to make sense of the world, and to understand how and why we are here. I have said this before on these forums, but let me restate it before I start just as groundwork to what I am arguing. All of us view the world through a (narrative) framework. I use "(narrative)" because most of us do not think of things in this way, but I think it is a proper way to understand this concept. Our stories are the framework through which we view the world. Our narrative framework then becomes the ever adapting, ever changing worldview through which we interpret reality. For instance I believe in the conept of "car" and understand a car's purpose based on the stories that have been told to me (other's experience), my own stories (my experience), and the interaction between the two. I am not sure if that is well explained, but I will assume most of you understand what I am attempting to say.

Once we have established that all of us have narrative worldviews, we are left with the task of trying to find the worldview which best fits into reality. This a daunting task, considering that all of us are already interpreting the world through our narrative worldview. However, when we are honest, we must all admit that our worldviews have flaws in them and either reshape them as we discover those flaws, or adopt a new worldview. I believe that the worldview that best addresses all of the fundamentals of study (i.e. science, mathematics, philosophy, etc.) is probably closest to reality. It also must make sense in the physical world and be coherent (of course one could argue otherwise, but in my opinion these are critical objectives a proper worldview must meet). Many scientists tend to only address physicality and overlook other concepts that may be (and I would argue are) important in our understanding of the world. Despite that I disagree with Sam Harris fundamentally, I concur with him that this problem must be addressed and shifted (see The End of Faith, Chpt 7: Experiments in Conciousness).

This is where most of us will disagree. As of now, I believe that the narrative proposed by the Biblical Scriptures (not by the Catholic Church), is the worldview that best fits this description. It addresses all of the issues of humanity and phenomenology. It addresses the purpose of every molecule. It addresses humanity's radical difficulty to do the "good" and our tendency towards doing what we ought not (which brings up the ethical debate that I will not address here). It addresses the inherent disposition of the human race towards believing in something higher. It addresses our desire for purpose and for significance.

Of course that in itself is really not "proof", though I think it is minor evidence. It of course does not have much meaning outside of the rest of the claims of Scripture, but it reveals what exactly the narrative is attempting to do: Reveal humanity's purpose in existence. The specific (and most clear) reason for me personally to come to believe in this Gospel is due to internal and historical consistency of the narrative. After studying the Cannonical Scriptures I became amazed at how very logical and consistent the Bible is (despite the many different writers from many different eras). I will lay out my very succinct outline here just to allow those who care to have a taste of the structure of the narrative. This is only one perspective and is based on a covenantal marriage understanding of the Scriptures. There are other perspectives that I believe are also consistent and true, but this one was specifically meaningful to me, and surprised me. Also, please read through and get the entire picture before you dismiss initial comments, because it is the narrative whole that really ties together the conceptual pieces. Here is my outline:

1. Marriage: Adam and Eve (New Creation --->Garden)

Here we find, in the Genesis narrative, that God created Adam and Eve (both male and female) in His image. They are placed within the Garden to be the caretakers and are to represent God's authority there (if you want to study the historical understanding of "image" you will find that Ancient Eastern kings would place an "image" or statue of themselves in a province that they ruled but could not be ever present in). Adam and Eve in their marriage represent God's royal authority over His creation. Humankind is to be the species who have a special blessing from God in representing His authority (or kingship) over the physical world. Once Adam and Eve rebel the "image" becomes corrupted and their authority is lost (at least the overall authority). Their rebellion, after corrupting their authority, brings entropy and death to the created order. Since their authority cannot be excercised to the extent it was before their fall, they cannot stop the decay and death that has entered their world (because of their disobedience). But even in the Genesis narrative, YHWH God gives clear indication of His intent to reconcile the physical world to Himself. In other words, God begins to make promises (or covenants) that He will fix the mess and that He will do it through the "seed of the woman" (which is actually pretty historically surprising given the ancient view of the feminine).

2. Marriage: God and Israel

As the Old Testament progresses, we find that God considers Israel to be His wife. If you question this, I will present the Scripture references, but right now I just want to lay out the outline. Israel, as God's wife is unfaithful. She takes part in paganism and gives herself to other gods. God over and over calls her back, defends her, loves her, and promises to be faithful to her. God promises Israel that through her (echoing the "seed of the woman" in Genesis) all the nations of the world will be blessed (he will fix the mess).

3. Marriage: Jesus the Messiah (personification of God and His wife Israel/ Spiritual wedding the physical/ the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Man becoming one)

Jesus claims to be Israel's Messiah. Just as Moses promised in the Old Testament, there is one coming after me who is like unto me. The Jewish people had been waiting for the Messiah to bring them out of exile (bondage to Rome). However, what most did not see at that time, is that there was a more important exile that ties back into Adam and Eve. Humankind was in bondage to death and decay. This was the exile that Jesus had come to save them from. The promises to them were being fulfilled in a way they were not expecting. God was being faithful, they were just expecting political freedom, when God was giving them freedom from death and decay. Freedom to be a new humanity, no longer in Adam, but in Jesus Christ. It was through Jesus death and resurrection that the promises were fulfilled and will ultimately be fulfilled at His return. He has defeated death and inaugurated His Kingdom. See Last point of outline to understand how this plays out and ties together.

2. Marriage: Christ and the Church

Paul talks about the church as the "Bride of Christ". The marriage has not taking place yet but the Holy Spirit has sealed (the greek word "sealed" that Paul uses is the same word they used for engagement ring) the church for a future marriage. However, this engagement has just as much unfaithfulness as the marriage of God and Israel. There are definite parallels here between the two. However, Paul makes an argument that those in Christ are being conformed to the "image" of Christ, who is the "image" of the Invisible God! Do you see what is taking place here? Through the Holy Spirit, the community of the Messiah is being reformed into the "image" lost in Genesis. Again, according to Paul, God is reconciling all things to Himself. In other words, He is fixing this fucked up world, and He will ultimately and completely fix it at Jesus and the Church's wedding (see Revelation).

1. Marriage: Christ and the Church ([Re]new[ed] Creation ---> Garden)

This is the final point of the narrative (which is still a future promise of the Scriptures). When Christ returns He will bring all things under the full authority of YHWH God. The community of Christ will be completely transformed back into the "image" of God which was lost in Genesis. There are several wedding analogies that take place here. Jesus Christ and his Church are married and rule over creation together. This is very interesting since Paul calls Jesus the "second Adam". Through the work of Jesus death and resurrection (defeating the curse), a new Adam (Jesus the Messiah) and a new Eve (the community of God) have been placed to rule over creation. There is also a wedding between things seen and unseen, or better stated between heaven and earth. In the book of Revelation John sees a future vision of the "New Jerusalem" or "Kingdom of Heaven" coming out of the sky and descending onto the earth. This is where the throneroom of God will be. This ties even more into the narrative because the Lord's prayer (which Jesus prayed when the disciples asked him how to pray) says, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven..."

In other words, everything that was lost and screwed up in the Genesis story will be fully and finally fixed in the final Garden in which Christ and His Church rule. Despite humanity's failure God loved His creation so much that he became part of it to save it from its certain death. The new Adam (Jesus) and the new Eve (the Church of Christ) will represent God's authority over Creation. This is when final justice takes place. Not the sense which the term "justice" commonly invokes in the West. Rather, God will make ALL THINGS RIGHT. This is the justice of the Scriptural narrative. The chiastic structure of the entire Biblical narrative becomes surprisingly clear in this outline, and also shows how Jesus as the center has been the intention from beginning to end.

I know this was quite an essay for a forum like this, but I wanted to respond with at least some of the thoughts I have. I think there is Scientific evidence to back up these claims, and I know there is tons of Historical evidence to back these claims (that I have studied in detail). If you guys have any thoughts or even if you took the time to read this long babbling description, I thank you!

Susan's picture

coldfall2002 wrote: I know

coldfall2002 wrote:
I know there is tons of Historical evidence to back these claims

Please provide some of the "tons of historical evidence". 

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Very interesting! Thank you

Very interesting! Thank you for posting this. I enjoyed reading it!


Susan wrote:

Please provide some of the "tons of historical evidence". 

Hey, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I actually used this in a debate on another forum and decided to post it up here as well. Give me a couple days to put together a list of resources. I hope that is okay. To attempt to lay out the historical evidence in blog form would be very difficult. I also am working on a book that further explains the above outline. 

have you ever looked at

have you ever looked at other mythological narratives in this tradition of . . . understanding reality?