Now more than ever, differing viewpoints compete for attention. As we are confronted with ideas of scientific knowledge, lifestyle choices and religion, it is easy to become frustrated and say simply that we can not be sure of any sort of absolute perspective. All of these truth claims however seem to boil down to 2 different ways of knowing; experiential or revelational. Experiential ways of knowing say that what we can learn about life and truth come through what we can see and experience. If we can’t see and feel and touch it, it can’t be known. On the other hand, there is a universal sense that answers to the bigger questions of life relating to purpose and meaning are beyond the ability of experience alone to address.
CS Lewis in The Abolition of Man implies that life lived in the context of sense experience defining reality leads to a reduction of man to the sensual only and limits his ability to perceive the actual. Solomon writes in Proverbs 16 that while man plans his ways God weighs the motives.
All this to says that the two ways of knowing, sensual and revelational, can be complimentary. Our senses, fueled by science help to describe day to day activities in the physical world. The answers to those questions that lie beyond our sense can be addressed by revelation, where God speaks into our world through precepts he shows us. While the scientific method seeks to test empirical truth claims, phenomenology seeks to test revelational truth claims. As we become accustomed to living in these 2 worlds, they collide less often. How then can we proceed to evaluate revelational claims?