This is a post that is written by a very good friend, Stephen Peele. I have tried (unsuccessfully) for some time to get him to become a contributor on Questioning With Boldness… because of his wisdom but he has a very busy schedule right now. He happens to be a Pastor of an excellent ministry in Ohio and is a very successful businessman with multiple degrees including an Aeronautics and Astronautics degree from MIT. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at Northern Kentucky University and completed Grad School at University of Cincinnati with an MBA in Finance And Marketing Management. It is my hope to get him to become a regular contributor here as his schedule permits but currently, he travels throughout the United States as a consultant with his own “small business”. I hope you will enjoy his first contribution here. I suspect that we will see more from him as time permits and although he does focus on matters of faith, he will likely branch out into other topics that concern him.
Here is the first post of what will hopefully be many more…
Religion versus Reason
Many people today are infected by the belief that somehow religion (faith) and reason cannot coexist in the same mind. We create the artificial poles of the “religious” versus the “reasonable” and pit them against one another. Truly the two used to be counted as the same and it is a modern idea that they are not. How did this happen? I believe the turning point was the 1930’s when the Humanist movement became resurgent (this is the same spirit that inspired the building of the Tower of Babel). Since then there has been a battle between them, not in reality but in the hearts and minds of men.
Down through recent history (since about the 1900’s) secular humanism has been promoted and preached as the only “faith” which is based upon “reason”. That appeal is attractive in a post-modern world, where we had experienced evil we could not explain and yet survived. Humanism allows us to look to our own experience for truth ignoring all of the historical evidence to the contrary. It allows us to rewrite history from our perpsective after calling out the biases of the previous writers, and it allows error to become truth simply because most people believe it. That is completely UNREASONABLE! This is why it is so myopic, and would cause us all to repeat the errors of the past while making no real progress. It is the antithesis of what people portray when they talk about “enlightenment”. It defies LOGIC!
The fact is that faith and reason DO come together within a world that really was designed and built by the same God who gave us our understanding of how to live our lives. The only faith worth following would be the one which God Himself defined and supported. The only truth worth listening to would be that TRUTH which came from Him. The only people who would be confused about that would be the people that either cannot accept that God (rebellious), or cannot explain the conditions of the world (ignorant). The confusion is not therefore caused by the faithful but the faithless. For the faithless, they either do not believe in God or in believing in God do not get understanding. For the faithful there are answers that either come from faith or end in faith. In a true faith, the two poles are brought together as we gain wisdom and get understanding, by trusting God and searching Him for the answers. This is the prescription that God gives us, to search for Him and surely He will be found.
So the trouble with faith and reason is not the inherent reality of those two seperate ideas, but the minds that try to comprehend them. The trouble with our understanding of “religion and reason” is that without faith your reason is incomplete…because faith is in fact the evidence of the things which you did not know (unseen) or could not understand. Faith is the answers to the questions that you either did not know how to ask or did not know who to go to to ask them. You were completely lost but instead of using a skepticism and hatred for anyone smarter than you (GOD) you humbled yourself and admitted that perhaps there was actually someone who could answer those questions…His name for all intents and purposes is GOD!
For the believer in Christ there is much more hope in finding the answers because we have the answerer, God Almighty! Religion (Faith) and Reason coexist in our hearts and minds because God is both faithful and reasonable…and therefore He is able to satisfy both sides of how He made us!!