That’s as good a continental philosophy title as one could find. There is a valid point, though. This morning I was listening to James K. A. Smith’s lecture on contingency and relativism (given at the Horton Wiley talks, available on ItunesU). He raises a good point that we often forget when facing claims by Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Anchorites (a term I use incorporating Rome and East) come up to Protestants and say, “Yeah, well you can’t give a completely certain account of the canon,” or “what good is an infallible bible without an infallible interpreter?”
Hidden in these questions is “if you can’t know with absolute certainty, then all is despair.” Smith asks, rightly, why should we accept these Cartesian standards of justifying knowledge-claims. God created us as finite beings. As finite, we are contingent. As R. Scott Clark stated so well, “We shouldn’t seek for illegitimate religious certainty.”
Is the claim for absolute certainty an attempt to transcend being and finitude? Is this not the donum superadditum in action?