Faith & Reason

I need to do some reading on this topic, but I’ve been wondering about the relationship of faith and reason.  It seems to me that many liberal theologians and preachers (at least, those with which I am familiar) are able to translate faith into the language of reason or philosophy.  But I wonder, is there anything unreasonable, irrational about faith?  Are there elements of our faith and tradition that cannot be translated into the idiom of our times or the strictures of academia?

I ask this question because if everything in the faith can be translated into the language of reason, what is the point of faith?  I don’t want to be an unintelligent, anti-intellectual, "The Bible says it so it is true" kind of guy, but I’m not sure that I want to allow my faith and tradition to be reduced and redefined by academic disciplines either.  Where is that line, or how wide is that gray area, that seperates faith from reason?  What do we accept "on faith," and what do we subject to the rigors of historical criticism?

Oh, and I’m preaching on our friend Doubting Thomas on the Second Sunday of Easter.  Like Thomas, I’d like something to touch, something beyond reason, something beyond myself, something utterly real. 

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).

About Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. National Guardsman. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.
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3 Responses to Faith & Reason

  1. proclaimingsoftly says:

    I’m not sure your reference to “reason” and my discussion of “logic” are the same thing, but there are posts and comments on the logic of faith at my blog recently.
    “I have been saved by an illogical act done by a person, who illogically, was God made man, who saved me because I didn’t logically deserve it. ”

  2. Derek says:

    That’s precisely why apocalyptic is at the heart of a living Christian theology and why the enlightenment folk so tried to marginalize it. Apocalyptic flies in the face of both logic and the enlightenment worldview. I may write a post on this soon…

  3. liz says:

    Here’s the mission statement from my law school:
    The University of St. Thomas School of Law is a close-knit community that is dedicated to integrating faith and reason in the search for truth and justice, through a focus on morality and public service.
    Sounds nice, right? I’ve been amazed at what this means to different people and the discussions it has sparked over my three years here. Catholic teaching has much to say about the integration of faith and reason. It’s fascinating stuff.

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