The Logic of Faith

I have found, in the last decade, among humanity generally a certain measure of resistance to the use of reason and logic. Perhaps thinking is an unnecessary inconvenience in our emotionally charged “feel good,” self-absorbed generation. Maybe our confidence in our own ability to think is being called into question. I think, also, that we are too lazy to put forth the effort, and desire only that others do the thinking for us. In the church, particularly, these forms of resistance are present, as well as the assumption that the use of reason and logic is (somehow) “secular” and (somehow) contrary and destructive to the faith.

It is true that the Age of Reason (though not necessarily logic) has been the underpinning of the attacks against the church for over a century, and often for good reason (no pun intended). When the (so-called) sciences accuse the church of being unreasonable and perpetrators of naive myths and legions, the church unreasonably responds by declaring reason unfaithful and the enemy of faith. I (for one) refuse to accept that, because I am of the faith I am, and must be, somehow unreasonable. Furthermore, I declare that faith demands logic. I insist that there must be (and is) a logic to faith, by definition of “faith.”

Biblically, the word “faith,” in the Greek, is pistis: Being persuaded, convinced; belief. It is concerning confidence or trust in a thing. Faith is an intellectual assent to certain truth statements, which may or may not include experiences of such truth statements. What I would add to this definition is that there is no such thing as a (so-called) “leap of faith” or “blind faith.” By definition, faith is not an irrational “blind leap.” Strictly speaking, if one “leaps” or follows “blindly,” then that one is operating out of something other than “faith.” Such a one could easily be religious, but void of any faith, in fact. The logic of faith is found in the fact that, whatever emotional response that may accompany it, faith is an “intellectual assent” – it is necessarily reasonable, and something, first, done with the mind.

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1 – CEB). “Word,” here, in the Greek is logos: Spoken reason (it is where we get our word “logic”). Now, John was proving a different point in the text, but the context doesn’t change the fact that what John says is: “In the beginning was the spoken reason and the spoken reason was with God and the spoken reason was God.” Thus, God is the source and fount of all thought and Jesus Christ is the spoken reason of God to humanity. Our ability to reason and think logically comes from God. Therefore, faith necessitates the reason (and logic) of God found in Christ; and reason (and logic) necessitate the faith of Christ, for they originate in God.

For the Apostle Paul, the mind is precisely where faith actively transforms a person (Rom. 12:2). The mind, for Paul, is deep in the core of one’s being – a compound of the spirit, the conscience, and the seat of thought. In fact, without faith, the compound is inactive and reason becomes a tool of human depravity that works against God’s worldview in ironic ignorance (Rom. 1:28; 7:23, 25; 8:6-7, 27; 11:34).

So, when reason is used against the faith it becomes illogical – it contradicts the fount and source of reason. Likewise, when the church attempts faith without reason it abandons “the Word” of God – the mind of God. However, reason will always reveal the hypocrisy of (so-called) faith when it acts illogically, and rightly so. And the church must utilize reason in order to secure the faith, or risk being found contrary to God’s worldview. Faith transforms how one thinks. When the church (or any other agenda-organized entity) tries to advance a blind leap of adherence to a thing, preventing or perverting thought, reason and logic stand faithfully on guard. The logic of faith is that there is no faith without reason, and reason absent of faith is illogically depraved and ironically uninformed. One cannot remove reason from faith. The logic of faith is irrefutable – it is the mind of God.

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