How do we form our narratives? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
The sixth chapter of Pye’s book is about what he calls narrative formation. In this, a person goes through their life and they see the hand of God as do others and that leads them to think Christianity is true. I am sure this is the case for some people, but apparently absent is the idea of “A person looks at the metaphysical evidence for God and the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus and concludes that Christianity is true.”
Pye’s look reminds me of what’s wrong with Christianity in the West today. It’s an all about me approach. We know the will of God through our experiences. We know what God requires of us through our experiences. We know the nature of God through our experiences. Experiences are really incredibly difficult to interpret.
The main point Pye wants to make is that a Christian can interpret anything in line with what they believe. Pye asks those of us who are Christians to come up with an experience that could cause us to abandon Christianity. That’s quite easy actually. An experience where I encounter a better explanation for the rise of the early church than the one the apostles gave. My Christianity is not based on what happens to me today, but it’s based on what Jesus did 2,000 years ago.
Pye also says that this disconfirming evidence does exist for atheism. An atheist would be hard pressed if he saw an amputated limb grow back right before his eyes. I think it would really depend on the atheist. An atheist could come up with an explanation such as extra-terrestrials or perhaps even something more like an X-Men superpower before ascribing it to theism.
What Pye has done is just taken something everyone of us does. We all see evidence and experience through the filter of where we are. This is one reason I also encourage people to really read material that disagrees with them. We need to know what it is that we are arguing against. We need to know what the other side thinks.
It’s also why I am extremely skeptical of people who try to read the will of God into everything today. I hope before too long to on YouTube be interacting with people who are Christians and constantly predicting when the “rapture” will take place. Doing such does no good benefit to Christianity and there are not enough people who are holding them accountable.
I am also skeptical of a me-centered Christianity. These are the people who think God is communicating with them on a regular basis and that we need to listen to the voice of God in our daily lives and that the Holy Spirit is trying to guide us into every right decision. I see no basis for thinking that this is a normative practice in Scripture.
Pye thinks that this is an important chapter, but I just don’t see it. An important chapter to me would be one that focused on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Until then, we’re getting some criticisms of modern Christianity, but nothing to show at all that Christianity is not true.