Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Did you just imply the concepts of 'reasonable faith' and a 'reasonable God'? Tsk tsk."

As already mentioned, it is inevitable that those who speak out will often be accused of heresy by various individuals, groups, or denominations who interpret even non-essentials of doctrine differently. In his autobiography Unfinished Work, vocalist Kevin Max wrote, "Christians sometimes think that every believer thinks as they do without taking the time to understand the individual and what makes them tick." Yet unless those unjustly accused of heresy embrace religious legalism before faith in Christ, then such accusations should not always become overly disheartening. If a faithful man has met his calling, it is extremely difficult to convert him, the servant of another (Romans 14:1-4), to a legalistic, systematic tradition learned by rote. Isaiah 29:13 is an effective passage for one's self-evaluation, "The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.'"
Reason is not necessarily a contradiction of faith. I want to elaborate on one of my previous passages:

"Truly reason is a large cut of what directs one to a reasonable God apart from the uncultivated mentality - one in which is driven by fear of philosophies and scientific
data. Ironically, would not the creator be both the paramount definition of knowledge and the source of logic? Lasting is the irrational conflict between men of science and men of faith, yet there is an analogy by astronomer Robert Jastrow that nails the primary difference between the two: Men of science hike the mountain 'round and 'round in search of truth. This will inevitably lead back to the Author of truth. Eventually, upon nearing the top, they will realize that men of faith have been standing there for centuries."

Several respected theologians, such as Tozer and Kierkegaard, have implied that faith is where reason cuts off, and this is a necessary absurdity. In The Fellowship of the Burning Heart, Tozer wrote, "So, all down the line, faith is an organ of knowledge. And the man who believes is having knowledge that the man who merely thinks can't possibly have. Our poor little old brain can come staggering along like a little boy trying to keep up with his dad - coming along on his little, old, short, stubby legs, trying to reason." There was a time when skepticism was an act of rebellion. Since to a degree I both believe in evolution and have faith, I can only conclude that, as prophesied, to have faith will someday be an act of rebellion (Jeremiah 5:31). As stated in both the beginning analogy and by Tozer, men of faith are intellectually beyond men of science (Proverbs 9:10). Scientists are at high-risk of being directed towards the Author of truth due to the probability of evidence for God (however, it is important to note that tangible proof of God is not scientifically justifiable because he is spiritually beyond the universe). What one truly does upon receiving this evidence is God's distinction between the faithful man and the skeptic. If one's heart is hardened, an idea or thing can rest in front of him but he will deny it out of pride, while on the inside knowing, in this case, that there must be a supernatural origin for his existence. Consequently, the universe continues to appear more complex, and the more complex something becomes, the more evidence one has that it was not an accident.

From the theistic standpoint, reason exists yet will be inferior to faith. Tozer also said, "Faith never goes contrary to reason; faith simply ignores reason and rises above it." To elaborate on the relationship between this and the phrase "reasonable God", I must make it clear that the following reasons are different from those of scientific standards. The theist has reasons for faith in God: a transformed life, miraculous happenings, positive revelations, gifted abilities, and Christ himself within history. These reasons require a degree of faith in order to be comprehended, but are in fact reasons for one's faith in God; therefore, the phrases "reasonable faith" and "reasonable God" are not unbiblical.

There are a number of denominations who openly reprimand the inclusion of God and science in the same sentence. God, on the contrary, permitted man the sciences as a means to seek, discover, to use, and to relish. Ultimately, God's magnitude is made evident, in the physical dimension, as strong advocates of science so desire, when exploring such a voluminous and complex universe, and whether conscious of it or not, man, in addition, honors God when doing such. Yet many highly and predominantly religion-oriented sects are contemptuous of knowledge seekers, as though God scorns those who delight in studying, in experiencing his own creation. However, what truly matters is that a man who does this through his own conscience is fallen.

Psalms 19:1-6, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat."

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