Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Is faith compatible with logic and reason?

One of the definitions for faith in the dictionary is: “Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” In Hebrews 11:1 it says: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” On the other side you have logic and reason. A definition of logic says, “A particular system or codification of the principles of proof and inference.”

Faith is something we believe even though there is no proof. Logic is a principle that comes from proof. The question is then; can logic and faith be compatible? Can you have faith in God, and yet seek to apply logic to your faith? Is spiritual practice to only be about faith, or does logic fit in somewhere?

I believe logic and faith actually can co-exist. Since God made us beings with the capability for both, it stands to reason that we are to use both in our lives, including our faith in God. However, belief must come first. The scriptures teach us that when we are filled with God’s Spirit, through the Spirit we begin to understand spiritual truths. Without the Spirit of God these spiritual truths elude us. Our physical minds cannot comprehend the things of God. As God said through the prophet Isaiah, 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Yet, if we were to live our lives on faith alone, then we would struggle to make even the simplest decision. It is like the story of the woman who would wake up each day and pray to God to see if she should get out of bed. If she felt God was leading her to get out of bed, she would then pray to see what God wanted her to wear. Some days she would only wear one shoe, some days no shoes! This story is a bit ridiculous, and rightly so. This woman sought to use only faith and no logic.

Even more, in our faith walk we must use logic. We have to make decisions all the time how we will “love our neighbor as ourselves.” We are called to eat well and stay healthy. These are all choices that come from knowledge, reason, and logic.

After I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, there have been many occasions where I have seen the logic of a loving, and personal God. I have experienced and seen many miracles that have come from prayer and faith. I have learned through study how Jesus fulfilled many prophecies foretold hundreds of years before He came to the earth. Our logical minds help to affirm the faith we place in God.

So, give yourself to God through faith, and then let God impart to you the reason and logic needed to live this life well and to understand spiritual truths. Blessings.