Pages Navigation Menu

Faith One Blog

“Faith and Reason”

The born-again believer sees himself as God’s creature. He recognizes his finitude and its attendant limitations and believes everything that God says. In this respect he is very much… like the little child that accepts his father’s word and obeys him without requiring any verification from any higher source as to the truth of what he says. He recognizes that there is no possible authority that can provide verification of God’s word. He believes the Bible because he recognizes the voice of his Creator, the One that made him and placed love for Him in his heart. His previous blindness has been swept away, a whole new vista is now open before him and he sees things as they really are for the first time in his life. It’s a marvelous and dramatic change and all that experience it know that something life-changing has entered into their lives.

But there is more to the Christian faith than this internal experience, this heart-faith, real though it is. Faith begins in the heart but God gave us minds as well as hearts. He gave us His word, a word that tells us what is real and explains to our thinking minds why we believe what we believe. The Christian faith, while it begins with the heart is also logical and satisfying to the most critical mind. In fact, what the Bible teaches us is indispensable to all reasoning on any subject whatever. Christians that neglect or reject the idea of mind-faith and insist that their faith is based only on the heart, tend to become defensive. They declare their faith and the unbeliever tells them, with a very superior attitude, that “faith may be a good thing to have but I prefer to use my mind.” The unbeliever pits the mind against the heart as if they are somehow contradictory. This is very far from the truth but, to the new or untrained believer surrounded by unbelief, their arguments can seem persuasive. They claim intellectual superiority that they do not possess but many Christians, unable to counter their claims, think it’s real and withdraw into a mentality that denies the intellectual and leans totally on the heart.

In such a controversial situation, the believer can be intimidated and he typically reacts accordingly. He tends to retreat into a more sheltered environment. He reads his Bible and prays more, he attends church services very regularly to reinforce this faith that has been challenged. All these actions are commendable and beneficial but they are being pursued for the wrong reason. Sadly, this is not an uncommon set of affairs. The teaching of many churches accentuates and perpetuates this kind of protective attitude. They emphasize the need for Christians to continuously be on guard to keep the Devil from undermining their faith. This is all well and good to a point but, if not balanced with the positive side, it keeps the believer in a defensive mode. He is continually being told that his faith is a fragile thing that he must always be careful to keep from breaking.

This kind of preaching, rather than helping, actually exacerbates the situation in that by implication it conveys the message that the Christian faith may not be so reasonable after all. If it cannot defend itself intellectually but needs this continued support from the heart, perhaps it isn’t able to stand on its own when measured against unbelief. This is of course just about the opposite of the truth. Unbelief is false from an intellectual as well as an emotional viewpoint. From a logical as well as an historical perspective, unbelief can be shown to be a total failure. It cannot begin to explain any aspect of human knowledge but must rely on Christian principles to supply its answers to all the basic philosophical questions. More, the Christian faith is not only intellectually superior to any form of unbelief, it is the only system that does not destroy knowledge.

This tendency to place total reliance on heart-faith and surrendering the mind-realm to unbelief has seriously compromised many Christians. Christians need to challenge unbelief on its own ground and show that it is a structure that is not just built on sand but actually has no foundation at all. Only when it does this will it prosper and grow as God intended (). There is a hill that must be climbed first but once this idea takes hold, once Christians begin to see the depth of the poverty of unbelief, they will gain confidence in themselves; they will see that the world cannot be left to unbelievers. When this is recognized and Christians begin to see the extent to which all mankind is dependent on God and God’s word, it will result in greatly increased vitality and real growth will follow.