Five Ways Christianity Is Reasonable
by Kenneth Samples
Is the Christian faith a reasonable religion?
Some believers throughout church history have agreed with many nonbelievers in proclaiming that Christianity is not a reasonable religion. Nevertheless, a powerful theological-philosophical consensus within the history of the faith has argued that the historic Christian religion involves knowledge and is indeed compatible with reason. This historic agreement has often been expressed in the common statement: “faith seeking understanding.” Its most articulate and persuasive spokespersons through the centuries have been such distinguished Christian thinkers as Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas.1
Five Aspects of Christianity’s Reasonableness
Since the perception that the Christian faith is not a reasonable religion persists today, it is important to examine five ways that historic Christianity is reasonable.2
First, the Christian worldview offers a plausible explanation for affirming an objective source for knowledge, reason, and rationality. That basis is found in a personal and rational God. Infinitely wise and all-knowing, God created the universe to reflect a coherent order of nomos and logos (Gk., laws and logic), and he also created humankind in his image and endowed with rational capacities to discover that reasonable organization (Genesis 1:26–28). God, in effect, networked the comprehensible cosmos and rationally capable human beings together with himself to allow for a congruence of intelligibility. Thus, in Christianity, the rationality of the universe has a reliable metaphysical ground.
Second, Christian truth claims do not violate the basic laws or principles of reason. Christian faith, though it often transcends finite human comprehension, is not irrational or absurd. In other words, faith does not damage reason. Moreover, when skeptics have challenged the logical coherence of biblical teachings, Christian thinkers through the centuries have offered viable models for showing these ideas to be mysterious, but not actually incoherent…