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November 16, 2011


This is an important topic. I've addressed it in a blog posted a while back. The God who created our faith and reason wants us to use both for His glory. The people of Jesus' day used reason to come to faith in Him when they compared the prophecies with the words and works of Jesus.

Ah yes, everyone has faith. They may have faith in different things, but everyone has faith in something.

I think that both sides are often talking about different kinds of faith. I however, find that many Christians seem to promote the idea that faith for the sake of faith is a virtue. They seem proud of the fact that they believe in something that seems foolish. Because, they like being "fools for Christ" and they look down on "the wisdom of men." I usually don't have any quarrel about the use and definition of faith with Christians who are more STR-ish. I often strike out against the kind of 'faith' that I am surrounded by.

Except Atheists.

Faith is belief in something reason tells you is is not true.

I think that's being a bit simplistic alex. Fyi, I am an atheist.

Then you should understand this.

Alex, I trust you’re not married.


How is that much different from an atheist who rejects the existence of God because a Christian was a jerk to them when they were 12?

Or had a Sunday school teacher that wasn't a trained theologian and couldn't answer a question?

Or someone who accepts a scientific explanation, even though they don't know enough science to make a valid assessment of whether the claim is likely to be true?

I'm not sure what you are getting at trent. Please explain?

Some "skeptics" are proud to announce that they disbelieve, even though the reasons they give for their disbelief aren't really good reasons.

Just because a Sunday school teacher couldn't answer a question when one is 12, doesn't mean God doesn't exist. Having someone look at you sideways at church doesn't mean that religion is the most destructive force known to mankind. The fact that your earthly father didn't hug you enough doesn't mean that your heavenly father is a moral monster.
I think there is a psychiatric term that could be used here. Transference.

I agree that many Christians have reasons to believe that wouldn't convince me if I didn't believe, but at least they reach a true conclusion even if they don't know why it's true. That is better than having a false belief but being able to fully justify how you got to it.

I do, simply because humans have a brain and the ability to reason, which separates us from the 4-legged animals. Reason plus faith, I think, makes for kinder evangelism, versus the unbridled emotional variety. "The Common Round" (a 1935 British Christian film) demonstrates this, which I find to be a refreshing evangelism.

Mary, humans are not the only animals with brains and the ability to reason. Although we can do this to a much higher degree.

Trent, I feel like you changed the subject and I'm not sure where or why.
What are you talking about? I never said any of those things or gave a reason for not believing.


You brought up "fools for Christ" and Christians being proud of not using reason. I merely make the observation that many skeptics don't seem to use reason well, although they claim to.

Many merely have faith that Christians are wrong.

Trent, the difference is I give them the benefit of the doubt about what they claim they believe. I also drew a distinction from those types of Christians that I am surrounded by versus you guys here. Are you doing the same? Your wording seems to indicate a bias against skeptics being intellectually honest... And not just in the way moat humans are.

No. Many skeptics have valid reasons, but most I have met have bad reasons. Most of the noisy ones I've met fall in the latter category.

I wouldn't say intellectually dishonest, but rather deluded. But if you want to characterize someone who pronounces that they are basing their beliefs on logic and reason, when they can't articulate a decent argument other than they don't like God, intellectually dishonest, that is your call.

I'm simply commenting on the common trope that faith and reason are opposite ends of the spectrum. Simply not having faith, does not mean that your view is reasonable.

The Early Church saw a direct relationship between free will & reason. I would say that if free will is meaningless for salvation, then the same holds for reason.

Evangelicals want to say that salvation is all of Christ but nothing of man until it comes to reason, then they say man has something to contribute to his salvation. They claim man's intellect is generally still intact, but man's will is not since the fall. The Early Church believed that God preserved in man both reason & will: we didn't fall so far with regard to our reason, & we did not fall so far with respect to our will. Just as we have the ability to think, we have the ability to choose.

Whereas the Evangelical wants the battle to focus on the intellect; the real battle is on the front of practice or obedience. Salvation is not so much a matter of worldview as it is lifestyle. To be saved, you not only have to think something; you have to do something with what you learn because true learning involves doing. You can't possibly learn something having to do with righteousness, godliness, following Jesus, & producing fruit without choosing, striving, & doing the Father's will. Salvation is a matter of obedience in both thought & action.

Faith is a verb, an action word like loving. Faith is the last & the least of the great commandments. Faith is nothing without love, & love is nothing without justice. Justice demands reciprocity. Knowing the truth in your head only is to bring down more judgment upon your head. That is what the Law does because knowing the Law does not equal doing it; it means that you know what you should do but still don't do it. To know what Jesus taught us to do & to fail to do it is likewise judgment because we will judge ourselves according to His words which we either keep or fail to keep. (John 14: 15 - 23) Therefore, the warning is to abide by producing fruit just as Jesus abode in the Father's love by doing His will.

Not everyone will be saved; only those who do the Father's will, & an essential part of His will is our sanctification. We are saved by the belief of the truth & sanctification by the Spirit unless the two are redundant. (II Thes.2: 13) It isn't one or the other; it is both, but both are subject to your choice - be it unto you according to your faith - you must abide - choose to obey; strive to enter; make an effort; do the things that lead to salvation; labor for the food that endure unto eternal life for the wage of the righteous is life. (Prov.10: 16; 11: 18, 19; Is.3: 10; 48: 17, 18; John 4: 36; 6: 27; Hos.10: 12; Gal.6: 7 - 10)

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