Reason must not be our only tool, for it has faults

“We routinely disqualify testimony that would plead for extenuation.  That is, we are so persuaded of the rightness of our judgment as to invalidate evidence that does not confirm us in it.  Nothing that deserves to be called truth could ever be arrived at by such means” (Marilynne Robinson)

I think this is something that both Christians and Rationalists need to hear.  Too often Christians deny scientific fact because it doesn’t fit with their narrow interpretations of Scripture, and too often Rationalists deny spirituality because it doesn’t properly fit into their boxes.  We must begin to see that truth is so much deeper and wider than the narrow perspectives of many Christians and Rationalists.

2 thoughts on “Reason must not be our only tool, for it has faults

  1. The identification of truth is one of the primary reasons that the Church believes that Christ founded her–so that the discovery and defense of said truth (whether Biblical or otherwise) or was not left to individual persons and interpretations, but rather was a communal activity blessed and protected by the Holy Spirit. Now, admittedly, the Church has not always been the best defender or promoter thereof, but a human institution, no matter how divine the Founder, is still run by humans.

  2. Great point Richard. Now the question is how we convince people that see the world in such individualistic ways of the importance of coming to truth as a community? Being the Wesleyan that I am, I agree that the determination of truth must come through the tradition of the Church, but I also value human experience, reason and Scripture (Scripture as interpreted through dialogue within Christ’s Body). The reason I value these other filters for determining truth besides the Church is because sometimes churches (little “c”) become corrupt, and inflict much pain and evil on a world we are challenged to love.

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