Faith and Reason

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Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…    –Hebrews 11:1

As I continue to read about Winston Churchill, I encounter many attempts to claim him as an atheist, or at least an agnostic: certainly not a believing Christian. Most of these claims rest on the argument, “Oh, he had too much trust in reason to be a believer!”

For “trust” read faith. As in, he had too much faith to have any faith.

Thing is, you can’t get away from faith. It’s part of you, and you have to put it somewhere. Even an atheist has faith. He just withholds it from God and puts it somewhere else.

Why not put our faith in reason?

First, reason is the gift of God. He put it there, and means for us to use it.

But second, because reason is upset and misdirected by so many things. By prejudice, misinformation, incomplete knowledge, lies, and wishful thinking, just to name a few. We can train ourselves to reason better than we do, but can never train ourselves away from being human (despite the best efforts of secular humanists in that direction). Human reason is inadequate; it cannot stand alone. It’s a good thing, but it’s not everything.

And third, there are things that we hope for, and there are things that we cannot see–and those things are real. We can’t even approach them without faith. Probably can’t even talk about them.

Even a communist has faith, no matter how strenuously he denies it.

 

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