Certainty and Uncertainty in Religious Experience: Koukl and Chopra
Faith Under Fire
Years ago 2004-2005 there was an interesting television series called Faith Under Fire hosted by Lee Strobel broadcast on PAX-TV. As one could expect from the title, the program pitted two people of faith against each other to debate their beliefs and of course do so as quickly as possible between commercial breaks.
Lee Strobel, author of the Case for Christ series and a former-atheist convert to Christianity, moderated the discussions. The series was short lived after only two seasons, but had a range of personalities including Albert Mohler, Ergun Caner, Hugh Hewitt, John Shelby Spong, Greg Koukl, Deepak Chopra, Craig Haizen, Marianne Williamson, William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas. Even Robert Millet and Greg Johnson appeared on the program.
The Future of Faith
On one of the last episodes of season 2, Greg Koukl and Deepak Chopra were guests and the show was titled “The Future of Faith” (4/30/2005).
Koukl hosts Stand to Reason, a Christian radio program, where he seeks to explain Christian belief from a rational perspective. He has degrees in Christian Philosophy and Apologetics from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University and Simon Greenleaf University. Along with Francis Beckwith he coauthored “Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air.” (Baker Books, 1998).
Chopra began his career as a a doctor of internal medicine and endocrinology. He taught at Boston University and Tufts University, before becoming Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital and at the Boston Regional Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. After becoming interested in Ayurvedic medicine he began to write books on healing and the mind-body connection.
Certainty vs. Uncertainty
It’s true that Koukl and Chopra from very different faith traditions, but they also come from radically different perspectives regarding the role of certainty and uncertainty. For Koukl certainty is everything and uncertainty leads to doubt, disarray and should be avoided, we should have an “active trust” and “confidence in our beliefs.” The most important thing is to get it right. For Chopra, certainty can be limiting and in some cases dangerous, while on the other hand uncertainty is to be embraced, we should be willing to “embrace the unknown.” Where do you fall?