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Rationality and Faith September 3, 2006

Posted by mjtilley in faith.

Are those two words a choice or complimentary concepts?  Said another way, do I have to be rational OR have faith or should I only have faith BECAUSE it is rational?

This very issue is dealt with very comprehensively on the Pyromaniacs website (a personal favorite): http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2006/08/is-christianity-rational.html

I’m not going to weigh in on the comment discussion … in part because it’s very long to keep up with and in larger part because I don’t think I could keep up with the mental power being spent.  But, for the sake of our discussion on the Doctrines of the Christian Faith, I will make a couple of comments:

  • We ought to be very careful about applying human logic to the things of God.  I Corinthians 2:14 tells us that the natural man will find no logic in the things of God.  And in fact, even believers can only understand many of them through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.   
  • Although something may not be logical to natural (unsaved) men, it doesn’t make it unreasonable or irrational.  Appealing to Paul again, this time in chapter one of I Corinthians: the wisdom of God, while being foolishness (unreasonable) to the world, it is nonetheless powerful.  Call it what you will, but the power of God’s grace extended to me new life through the means of preaching.
  • While I think our faith (Christianity) is rational, reasonable and logical, I am cautious about putting God into a human-defined box.  While I do know everything He wants me to by reading the Bible and heeding the Holy Spirit, that is far from everything there is to know about God.  Also, my flawed (by virtue of sin) logic is likely to do disservice to God’s character and substance if I rely on it instead of wholly on the revealed Word of Truth. 
  • Stepping into the world of faith isn’t discarding logic or reasoning.  Instead, it actually opens up a new world of truth (additive, not replacement … 2+2 still equals two, but we now can do calculus) according to Ephesians 1:8.  Said another way, science knows and is confident that time and the universe began at some unknown point many, many years ago — that’s a fact.  But through the revealed word of God, the only person to be in existance at that moment in time (the triune God, Elohim) gave us a first-hand account of how it happened.  I can never know that the world was created by the effectual word of God in seven days … except it is revealed to me.  But even as “unbelieveable” as it may seem, it in no way contridicts truth (the world has a beginning and started suddenly at some point many years ago).


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