Reason is the enemy of faith

Written on April 6, 2009 – 1:05 am | by Justin Paone |

“Reason is the enemy of faith” so says the adage. From my observations this saying tends to polarize people. There are those who see wisdom in the adage, and then there are those who look at “reason” as a method to strengthen their faith.

To make a point I’d like to change this saying to: “Reason is the enemy of doubt.” If you ponder on the saying in its reverse form, it still holds truth. Reason can be a great way to dispel doubt and build up faith. Christianity is a very reasonable faith. There is no convincing reason why we as Christians should shy away from discovering the reasoning within Christianity.

If the saying is true, then it can not be referring to the form of reason I just mentioned above. Here is what I think it may refer to. As much as we study, we will always have an finite understanding of God and his ways. It is with the things that we do not understand that our faith in God must step in to bridge the gap between our limited understanding and His complete understanding. You can only put faith in someone you trust. It is when our reasoning steers us away from trusting in God for what we do not understand that reason becomes the enemy of faith.

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  1. 6 Responses to “Reason is the enemy of faith”

  2. By Jason on Apr 6, 2009 | Reply

    Here here.

  3. By D. Johnson on Apr 8, 2009 | Reply

    Well being that the definition of “reason” is rather broad, are you referring to “logic” being the enemy or “a declaration being made to explain or justify an action, or a basis for a motive or an action”?

    Reason is often the result of “logical thinking” and I believe under this definition, it’s neither the enemy of doubt or of faith as in the end it’s a reflection of your actual realm of faith and/or belief — or maybe the lack of it.

    If you begin the discussion of “logical thinking being the enemy of faith”, you open up an even bigger topic when you pit “logical thinking” vs “carnal thinking” as they aren’t the same thing. And we know from the Bible that carnal thinking is at enmity with the things of the spirit. However when you ponder your devotional reading you more often than not are committing the act of “logical thinking”.

  4. By Justin on Apr 9, 2009 | Reply

    Good in sight! I like how you break it down. Its a good question you asked about “reason” being “logical thinking” or “a declaration being made to explain or justify an action, or a basis for a motive or an action.” I don’t fully understand exactly how some view it, but I think it would fall under “logical thinking.” To be a bit more accurate (I may have it wrong) I think some see the definition of the word “reason” as “intellect which can aid in discovering and deciphering God’s word.” This is not a dictionary definition, but rather an interpretation of how it appears to be viewed. I may be a bit off on this interpretation. If you adhere to a definition like that the rest of the saying “is the enemy of faith” bashes this form of reasoning which is the same definition I was thinking of when I reversed the saying to “reason is the enemy of doubt.” Reasoning can go either way. Which is like you said “it’s a reflection of your actual realm of faith and/or belief — or maybe the lack of it.”

    I think it all comes down to how the word “reason” is personally being interpreted, which gives rise to viewing this saying differently.

  5. By noleftturn on Apr 9, 2009 | Reply

    Well, “logical thinking” could be “carnal thinking” at times. Logic is defined as correct reasoning. But correct according to whom? Don’t you think that some forms of logic may seem to be correct but end up being “carnal thinking” in the end? Some people “logically” conclude that there is no God. Others “logically” conclude that there is.

    Perhaps this is why the Bible talks of the “wisdom of the world” and the “wisdom of God.” 1Co 1:17-21

    There are “our” thoughts and “God’s thoughts.” Our thoughts are frequently not God’s thoughts for his are compared to being higher than the heavens are to the earth. What seems to be important is taking on His thoughts (which we can since we have the mind of Christ) no matter if they’re logical or not according to other standards.

  6. By Justin on Apr 15, 2009 | Reply

    Good point noleftturn on the connection between “logical thinking” and “carnal thinking.” I also like how you brought out the importance of taking on the mind of Christ despite our logic.

  7. By mbt shoes on Jul 17, 2010 | Reply

    thank you, nice article.

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Welcome to my blog. My name is Justin Paone and this is where I express my thoughts, discoveries,views and the day-to-day happenings in my life.

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