- and it is an assumption - is that God is wholly Good, and loves us as children, and wants for us to grow to be like Jesus.
But how do you 'know' that God is Good, and loves us? Most people look for evidence about this - but there can be no evidence - for or against - because what counts as evidence depends on whether we believe God is Good or not.
(If God was evil, then any apparent-evidence might be there to deceive us.)
We cannot interpret this world, cannot detect or evaluate evidence, unless we have already decided whether this world is A Creation of God, and whether that God is Good/ loves-us etc. All of this makes a difference to everything...
How can we know? Well, how can we know anything? ... Here the weasel world is 'how' and the expectation that there is a Method - and the further expectation that the Method can be validated by evidence etc.
So, the situation seems, to the modern mind, hopeless.
But the matter of how we can know about God, about the reality, the nature, the plans and hopes of God is resolved simply by recognising that this is some-thing we must know directly.
There can be no Method. We must know in such a way that that knowing is foundational to all else, because that is the kind of thing we are discussing.
If the modern world teaches anything, it is that when God is subtracted it makes a difference.
(We tend to blame The New Left for hollowing-out, politicising, and subverting and inverting all social institutions - but that was already done by atheism. Government, the law, schools, colleges, hospitals, the police and military, the media are all hollow and instrumental and evil when God is excised from their hearts. But that is not something to be proven by evidence - it is something we know, directly.)
Modern Man behaves as if the only thing he knows directly is that nothing-can be known directly - we merely need to recognise that self-refuting contradiction; and to approach Reality with the spirit of wanting to know.
And we need to start with first things - instead of asking secondary or tertiary questions about reality. The question of God is the first question; and soon after comes the nature of God including our relationship to God.
This knowing-directly isn't some tortured and drawn-out complex philosophical process or scheme - quite the opposite. We moderns are already-embroiled in a complex philosophical scheme which has so confused and muddled us that the one thing we cannot see is the obvious; the one priority we cannot recognise is the vital.
There s a sense in which the human soul always does recognise God, and God's goodness and love for us - but there are many reasons why this knowledge is suppressed, forgotten and overwritten. Ultimate priorities yield to everyday expediencies, realities yield to wishes and fears... this is common observation. Then we accuse others (project) this; and the tangle becomes impossible to unravel.
The only act or choice that can go past the tangle, is to recognise direct knowledge (aka. intuition) as valid, as the basis of everything; and then all else can and will follow - for reasons that can only-then become apparent.
We all began, as children, with direct but unconscious knowledge of everything we needed to know; and the beginning of our task as adults is 'merely' to know consciously what we used to know unconsciously.
Quick, simple, attainable...
And what of Jesus? Where does Jesus come into this scheme? Surely Jesus needs specific revelations of scripture, tradition, church authority etc? Well, no. Jesus needs an understanding of the need for Jesus; and as adults this needs to be an explicit understanding. As children, and at the time of Jesus's life, the need for a Saviour was perfectly well-understood - although the identity and nature of the Saviour was a matter of massive disagreement... We have lost that understanding of need, and need to rediscover the truth of it; each for himself or herself, by direct knowing.
Good and concise post!
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