Unapologetic

One should not be apologetic about one's faith. It's ironic that an "apologetic", when used in its dated meaning, is a written defense of a theology. In that ironic vein I title this an unapologetic, because I am rather embarrassed at my loss of faith. This blog is a "good faith" attempt to pursue this faith, or its lack, to its logical conclusion.

I lost my faith on the lack of evidence of God's intervention in the world. If God is as active in the world as Christian theology supposes, then the evidence should be abundant. My approach here is to examine Biblical claims prima facia, as related by one or more contemporary scholars, and/or as it has been passed on to me within the traditions of my own faith journey. I would love to do all three each time, but for time's sake may have to limit it to which method is most useful.

Hebrews 10:19-22

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

For the original audience, this is an enormous claim. In Judaism God's Glory resided in the Most Holy Place (more often referred to as the Holy of Holies), and it could only be visited by the High Priest once per year to offer a ritual blood sacrifice on which the sins of the people over the prior year were transferred. The claim is Jesus' shedding of blood replaces this ritual sacrifice for every person, for all time, therefore we need not fear any more the Glory of God. We can instead snuggle right up to God as his children.

Let us stipulate for now that the Judaic claim is true and examine just this claim in Hebrews. The best test of this claim would be for a professing Christian to walk into the Holy of Holies on a random day and not be struck dead. As the Temple no longer stands, we can't. How then can we approach the Glory of God? This is no place we can visit and see the raw Glory of God1. We may see God when we die, but gathering the evidence is problematic. Christian tradition, and surely the New Testament, says we can approach God directly through personal prayer. Since we don't see Christians being struck dead by the millions, either prayer doesn't work that way, or this claim is true. We'll be looking a prayer later. Until then we are at an impasse. For now we must call this plausible.

1Some Christians will take issue with this statement. We'll have to come back to this.

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