Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Biblical Basis for a Well-Reasoned Faith





A modern, secularist culture argues that faith and reason cannot coexist; they are diametrically opposed. Faith, it’s argued, is based on belief, not fact, and therefore irrational. The Bible is a collection of stories, believed because God commands it, accepted on blind faith by non-intellectual Christians.

Despite what secularists claim, does the Scripture demand unquestioned adherence to an irrational dogma, based on blind faith, apart from reason? Setting aside the assumptions of both secularism and fideism – “God said it, that settles it, and I don’t need any reason to back it up!” – the wisdom of God’s Word reveals His desire for Man to embrace faith and reason simultaneously.

The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.

~ Psalm 119:130 ~

God’s Word speaks definitively on understanding and the use of reason throughout Scripture, and while divine wisdom is a gift God imparts to mankind through the Holy Spirit, it’s not a license to forego the use of the Christian’s mind. Our minds – finite, fallen and prone to ungodly thoughts as they may be – remain a necessary component in the process of coming to faith in Christ, and building the mature faith that’s required to lead others to Him for their Salvation. 

A well-reasoned faith needs:

1. Knowledge of the Old Testament prophecies, and the facts surrounding Christ’s birth, earthly ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension;

2. Reasoning to discern the meaning of those facts, and how they apply to the Salvation of fallen souls;

3. Confirmation of the truth of God’s Word, and agreement of the role this truth plays in Eternal Life; and,

4. Trust in God’s promise that Christ is Lord and Savior.

Combining God’s gift of reason with the discernment of the Holy Spirit allows us to boldly defend the Christian faith.

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

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