It’s me again. Your Dad. Yes, I insist on writing these notes to you, even though you won’t be able to read them for at least four years and won’t be able to understand them for at least fourteen. Right now, you are just a little more than a week old. You’ve already robbed me of plenty of sleep, but for the most part, you’ve been lower maintenance than your sisters were. Your first week was an eventful one. You were in church the day after you came home from the hospital and the next two nights. We (or should I say, the Roman Catholics) got a new pope this week, the first from Latin America and the first ever to come after a pope retired. Sarah Pailin made the news by slurping a from a big gulp at the CPAC. (I sincerely hope that by the time you read this, that last sentence makes no sense.)
I want to teach you a big word. You’ll find soon enough that I like big words. This one is important. In fact, it could be said that this word might be one of the most important and influential words of your entire life, although you’ll probably never hear people use it. My position on this word is the reason your family life is different than others, and will probably be the cause of many “But Dad! They get to do it!” conversations in your upbringing. The word is epistemology.
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the question “What is truth?” Most of the people now (and who knows where they’ll be in eighteen years) have what is called a “postmodern epistemology” they believe that truth is whatever society and your context says it is and nothing more. I choose to be one of the old fashioned guys that believes truth is much, much more than that. I believe that truth is objective, concrete and once for all defined. Going further, I believe that God’s Word is truth.
Because I believe that God’s word is truth, I, and at least while you are in my house you, will be very different from the majority of those around you. Society will say time and again “It’s OK” and Daddy will say “No, it’s not.” This, I guarantee, will be a source of conflict for you your entire childhood and adolescence.
But please know this from the beginning. Nothing that I believe that is unpopular I chose out of thin air. I’m not looking for ways to be pushed out of society. I don’t relish being called a bigot or a hater. I relish even less the thought of you being called anything. I believe that there is a God and that He did create the world and that He does control it, and I believe He revealed himself and His will through the Bible. So while the world around us can evolve it’s views on everything, Daddy cannot.
But also know this: Because of my epistemology, I’m not going to be trying experiment after experiment that leads to my misery. It is in part due to my unpopular epistemology that I’ve chosen a simple family life, that I’m committed to your mother, and that we have a happy home. The Bible is a wonderful book, and people who have believed it is absolutely true have enjoyed wonderful lives for thousands of years in times when it was equally unpopular.
Any old fish can float downstream. Find out what you believe and swim against the current.
I’ll write again soon,