Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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FAITH AND REASON
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.
1 Peter 2:7
What is the relationship between faith and reason? The best answer I can give is that faith is not a matter of reason. Some people teach that it is. They say that if only men and women would use their minds, they would be bound to become Christians; they can reason themselves into Christianity. But that is thoroughly unscriptural. They cannot because the natural man’s or woman’s reason is also fallen. Not only that, there are supernatural and miraculous elements in faith to which reason cannot attain. So true faith is not entirely a matter of reason. Indeed, I would quote to you the statement of the great Blaise Pascal, perhaps the greatest mathematician that the world has ever known and who had an evangelical conversion. He said that the supreme achievement of reason is to teach us that there is an end to reason.
So what about faith and reason? Well, faith is not mere reason, but on the other hand, neither is it contrary to reason. It is not unreasonable; it is not irrational. That is the charge that is brought against us.
“Ah,” people say, “but what you’re teaching is a kind of irrationality. You say that faith isn’t a matter of reason. Well then, is it opposed to reason?”
“No, it is not. It is not reason; neither is it contrary to reason. What is it then? It is supra-reason. It means that our reason brings us to the point where we realize that reason is not enough, and at that point we have nothing to do but submit ourselves to revelation. And that is faith. Faith is accepting this revelation.
More and more I like to think of it like this: Faith means that I deliberately shut myself down to this Book, the Bible. I refuse to philosophize. I refuse to ask certain questions. People are always asking them. They want to understand the doctrine of the Trinity. You cannot. You will never understand it. It is too great. So you accept it; and you stop asking questions.
A Thought to Ponder
Reason brings us to the point where we realize that reason is not enough,
and at that point we submit ourselves to revelation.
From God the Holy Spirit, pp. 147-148.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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