There are no brute facts, only interpreted facts. Every man approaches the facts from a set of presuppositions that make up the bedrock of his worldview and define for him the nature of reality.
Thomson, IL (PRWEB) April 08, 2013
In his new article, The Meaning of History, Part V, author Bill Heid continues his examination of history as it pertains to Christianity, this time exploring God’s acts of judgment upon the earth.
Heid opens by discussing the interpretation of facts. He emphasizes that “There are no brute facts, only interpreted facts. Every man approaches the facts from a set of presuppositions that make up the bedrock of his worldview and define for him the nature of reality.” In short, no one can examine facts in a purely unbiased manner.
This distinction is particularly important for biblical scholars as they examine God’s presence and divine interventions throughout history. Heid clarifies that “For the Christian, the facts are what they are because of the decree and providence of the Triune God of Scripture. All facts are God-created, God-ordained facts. The Christian historian has no desire to be impartial, only honest.”
Using this guideline, Heid argues that it is possible for a Christian to interpret a historical event as being God-ordained or even God’s judgment. However, he also cautions that such human interpretations must be made carefully, stating that “we should only speak of the judgment of God where real and great sin is apparent—and not always then.”
As further caution, Heid remarks that “we must understand that God’s vision for history is greater than we can possibly imagine… He is far more concerned with the salvation and sanctification of His people than He is with their immediate ecclesiastical, political, or cultural success—let alone their immediate happiness.” This warning responds to claims that the tragedy of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last year was an act of God’s judgment (http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/religious-right-reacts-sandy-hook-shooting-blaming-lack-government-dictated-school-prayer). Heid points out that the afflictions of Job and Paul recounted in the Bible show that even the righteous may suffer greatly, so not every calamity should be viewed as God’s judgment. He states, “Many saints spend their lives in poverty and pain. Many godly ministries reap a feeble harvest. The wicked seem to prosper, spreading themselves ‘like a green bay tree,’ yet they pass away (Psalm 37).”
While not all catastrophes are God’s judgment upon the earth, Heid argues that some events must be viewed as such because not seeing that is impossible “if we take God’s holiness and wrath seriously… if we believe in a God who judges in the Earth.”
Bill Heid is the radio co-host of Off The Grid News, an independent organization devoted to providing practical information about living today and in light of the challenges of the future. He and his news team look for the truth beneath the facts of the top news stories and how they will affect your life.