Sunday, July 16, 2017

Is Reason Faith's Enemy?

“Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.” —Martin Luther
Certain Christians erroneously think that reason is the basis for Christianity, while other Christians erroneously think that faith is the basis for Christianity. Robert A. Morey argues that the issue is not between reason or faith but between reason or revelation. To be honest, I fail to see what the confusion is all about. The Bible is our final authority on all matters pertaining to life and faith, therefore revelation is the basis for Christianity. Everything begins with God's revelationnot man's faith or reason. God’s Revelation in Scripture is more reliable than even first–hand eyewitness accounts (2 Pet. 1:16-21).

Martin Luther, Robert Morey, and others are wrong when they attack reason. Perhaps it would be more beneficial and productive if they had described or defined the type of "reason" they were addressing and combating. Reason is not the enemy of faith; it is its ally. Logic and reason are thoroughly Christian concepts. Our God is a God of logic and reason, and as such, we being created in His image have the faculties of logic and reason. They are a means with which to determine truth; not the basis of truth itself. As such, it is impossible for them to be the enemy of faith. Logic and reason are used to prove faith. 

Science used to teach that the ocean floors were flat. Believing the revelation of his Bible when it spoke of the oceans having mountains and valleys, using logic and reason alongside faith, Matthew Maury, a Christian, founded oceanography. In life, and especially in apologetics, you use logic and reason all the time. In interpreting the Bible correctly, you need logic and reason. There are different kinds of faith, but faith is not required for everything. People who purport this, using the cliché "Some things you just have to accept by faith," are purporting blind faith. Blind faith does not know, and Scripture says we can know.

If Martin Luther, Robert Morey, and others are referring to philosophical "reason," then they have a right to decry it. Philosophy tends to be complete and utter nonsense the majority of the time. Philosophy in no way determines truth. There is a certain philosophy that suggests that we do not even exist, that we are merely in a matrix or a hologram or some other nonsense. Most philosophy tends to ignore reality and postulate irrational stupidity.

If you are going to determine what is true and what is not, you require the faculties of logic and reason. In order to determine if any religion is true or false, you need to use logic and reason. Faith will not determine which religion is true or false. One has faith that Christianity is true, another has faith that Mormonism is true, and another has faith that Islam is true. Faith is good when it is placed in the correct object, but every object in existence does not require faith. Christianity is the only true religion, while all other religions are false constructs of sinful man and the devil.

One can have faith that the Bible is absolutely true, and there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps that is the extent of that person's faculties. Using logic and reason alongside faith (not replacing it), consulting archaeology, history, and science, we can prove the Bible is absolutely true. 

How do I know that God is a God of logic and reason? How do I know that God wants us to use our faculties of logic and reason? Because He pleads with us, "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18a).