I’m at Hawaiian Islands Ministries, http://himonline.org/, run by Pastor Dan Chun, who annually brings four thousand Hawaiians and others from all over the world together in Honolulu. In one of those bizarre coincidences, I read a novel from cover to cover on the plane over. It was a short novel called The Touch by Randall Wallace, the screenwriter who wrote Braveheart, a self-described Christian.
The coincidence is that one of the leadoff speakers at the conference used the meaning of the same two words—believing and knowing—in the opposite way they’d been used in Wallace’s novel. Both of Wallace’s lead characters state, as their key mantra, “Believe is a stronger word than know.”
Shane Hipps, a young, articulate pastor who was given the top slot at the conference kickoff, chose the exact same two words, but came to a conclusion opposite to Wallace's. Citing the gospel of John, Hipps sees a natural growth from believing to knowing. One of his slides said, “Belief is the menu; Knowing is the meal.”
Because I got off the plane and went almost directly to the conference, I found the contradiction impossible to ignore. I know of no theological concern over the two words, and I could see both points of view as valid, so the experience brought me back to Fitzgerald’s dictum: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." I'm finding more and more opposing statements where I agree with both. I’ve always loved how Fitzgerald ended his quote—the adult challenge is to keep such inconsistencies from inhibiting our ability to act.
Causes Kevin Arnold Supports
Poetry Center San Jose -- President