Faith or Reason?
by Melissa Sturdivant Pellew
In our culture and in times past, there has been a complete misunderstanding of what faith and reason are. Skeptics and atheists accuse Christians of having a blind faith, in which there is no reason involved. On the other hand, many Christians have bought into this phenomena & accept that their faith does not involve reason either. What we have in our culture is a false dichotomy between faith and reason. The truth is that faith and reason are not meant to be separated, but actually compliment one another. For example, someone may choose to believe something that isn’t reality. In this case, they have divorced their faith from their reason and are in danger of being labeled mentally ill. For example, if someone was to tell you that they believe that tomorrow morning, they are going to wake up as a frog, then you would think that they were absolutely absurd. Even though they truly believe that this will happen, their faith in this situation does not line up with reason. We must be aware that what we choose to believe may not always be true to reality. So with this is mind, can we really discuss religion and faith in the context of reason and knowledge? Many Christians would say “no”, but I emphatically say “yes” and that is what this post is all about.
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Christians need to be aware of not only what they believe, but how they think. I am convinced more and more that in this post-modern world that we live in today, that it is imperative that Christians are good thinkers. The Christian faith holds a heritage of stellar philosophers, scientists and theologians such as Clement of Alexandria, Augustine, Origen, Thomas Aquinas, Karl Barth, G.K Chesterton, C.S Lewis, Isaac Newton, Francis Schaeffer and many others. So today there is no need to shy away from thinking. Many times, when people within Christendom or outside have honest doubts about the Christian faith, they are dismissed and just told that they have to “believe” more. My husband, Devin, experienced this quite a bit growing in a Christian home, in which no answers were provided to his questions about science and the Bible. As a result, as a teenager, he walked away from the faith. We shouldn’t just disregard people’s honest questions about the faith . This is a sign that they are actually thinking- something that many Christians have forgotten how to do. I think somewhere we have forgotten our rich heritage of Christian thinkers & think that somehow if people probe too much, that they will find that the claims of Christianity are unreliable & dismiss the faith altogether. But in actuality, if people objectively research their doubts against Christianity with the evidence, they will find that the evidence actually confirms the claims of Scripture…
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