Are Faith and Reason Compatible?
Stand to Reason Blog
A lot of Christians think that faith and reason are at opposite ends of the spectrum; that reason is used to get knowledge on one side, and on the other side are the things that you don’t have good reasons for like faith. There is a sense that Christians in faith are leaping in the dark and believing ridiculous things because this is all that we have available to us. If we use reason and are thoughtful about our faith, somehow we are not doing what God wants.
Many Christians would nod their head to that statement. These are the kind of people who say, “If you’ve got all this evidence for it, then where is room for faith?” They see faith and reason as opposites, and the relationship might be considered the relationship of divorce. These are two entities divorced from each other, one on either side.
David Horner uses a metaphor in his wonderful book, Mind Your Faith. He says it’s not divorce; it should be marriage. Faith and reason are partners working together.
Horner states that one of the biggest objections that the New Atheists have brought against religion is that religious people have blind faith. They believe in things for which there is no evidence; ergo, the conflict between faith and reason. But Christians are people of reason and faith, but not people of blind faith…
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RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig
Wanting to engage not just academics and pastors but Christian laypeople and seekers, William Lane Craig has revised and updated key sections in this third edition of his classic text to reflect the latest work in astrophysics, philosophy, probability calculus, the arguments for the existence of God, and Reformed epistemology.
His approach-that of positive apologetics-gives careful attention to crucial questions and concerns, including: the relationship of faith and reason, the existence of God, the problems of historical knowledge and miracles, the personal claims of Christ, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. He shows that there is good reason to think Christianity is true. As Craig says, “If you have a sound and persuasive case for Christianity, you don’t have to become an expert in comparative religions and Christian cults. A positive justification of the Christian faith automatically overwhelms all competing world views lacking an equally strong case.”
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