Are Faith and Reason Incompatible?
Both Christians and Atheists alike state that reason and faith are on opposite sides of the belief spectrum. One cannot exist in the same space or breath as the other. In fact, many atheists and Christians view faith and reason (respectively) as challenges to their end game. Atheists look down their noses at faith as an act of pure blindness and ignorance, while Christians view reason as a steppingstone toward doubt and atheism. In either case, both groups get it wrong.
What if I were to tell you that faith and reason can coexist and are indeed close cousins? What if I were to tell you that one should not exist without the other? Pope John Paul II said it this way, “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth – in a word, to know himself – so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”
Reason assesses and faith trusts. I use my reason when reading the Bible, and then I put my trust in it that it is true. Every Saturday night, when I study the scriptures for my Sunday morning, He’s The Solution message, I use reason—I think and ponder over the passages I have read. Then I put my faith into action that these passages are accurate and relevant in my life today. You see, both reason and faith work hand in hand in my belief of God. It’s not merely that I ‘feel’ He is real and alive, I know because I used my rational mind to assess the information God has laid out in the Bible and then my faith to put it into action. There is no doubt in my mind that God’s word satisfies both our intellect and spiritual needs.
So, don’t knock reason for faith or faith for reason. They coexist and are two useful gifts that God, in His infinite wisdom, gave each one of us. Both are meant to enhance and strengthen our relationship with God.
THEY ARE DARKENED IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING AND SEPARATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD BECAUSE OF THE IGNORANCE THAT IS IN THEM DUE TO THE HARDENING OF THEIR HEARTS.