Faith and Reason: Better Together in a Christian Worldview
Have you ever misplaced your trust in something or someone? Maybe even yourself? I remember when I bought my first motorcycle. I had never ridden a motorcycle before and yet trusted myself that I could figure it out. You could say I had faith I could do it. My friends and I picked it up using a van and took it to my house. We unloaded it and walked it into the street and pointed it straight. I jumped on it, strapped on my helmet, and fired it up! A flick of the wrist and I was off. On one wheel. Only by the grace of God, the bike didn’t flip back on me as I rocketed down the street. My street had a boulevard and was fairly busy. As I approached the stop sign, well over the speed limit mind you, I didn’t stop or turn and just went down the opposite side of the road. I don’t think my friends stopped laughing for a couple of days. I walked away with only a bruised ego. My faith in my ability to just ride a motorcycle was unreasonable; I had no real evidence to believe I could do it, or at least do it safely. Imagine that I had taken motorcycle lessons beforehand or had grown up learning to ride motorcycles. Then, when I first jumped on that bike, I still would have faith that I could ride it. Except, unlike what happened, my faith would have been reasonable because I would have had real evidence to believe I could ride it.
In a previous post, I attempted to show how logic and theology go together after a friend had asked me. I concluded that a question regarding the two is a matter of faith and reason. As I worked on this post, I attempted to count the number of times I have heard that faith and reason are opposites. Compound that with the number of times I’ve heard that echoed in popular culture and I quickly lose count. Our culture wrongly divides faith and reason. But as you see in my example above, the issue isn’t if faith and reason are opposites. The real question is if our faith, whatever it may be in, is reasonable or unreasonable. And everyone puts faith into something, even if that something is yourself.
The world and far too many Christians, define faith as believing something without evidence though. If that is true, if you define faith as such, it logically follows that faith cannot exist with reason. At times you act out in faith, and other times you act out of reason. Holding that view of faith, I can see why an atheist or agnostic, will claim to believe in science instead of God, quickly dismissing Christianity.
But, is it justifiable to define faith that way in a Christian worldview? While I am not going to go through every religion and examine their definitions of faith here, I can demonstrate that the above use of the word faith is not how the Bible uses it. In other words, God never demands of His followers a blind faith. So, while some other religions and worldviews do ask for blind faith, Christianity is not one of them…
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