“Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom … Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.”
[Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148]
“Reason and science have proven to be so superior in gaining knowledge that many theologians must now appeal to reason and science to justify their ancient doctrines. ‘My heart tells me so,’ is no longer a credible justification, and so theologians publish works like The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, which attempt to justify Christianity with appeal to reason and science.”
[William Lane Craig, http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=2931]
Faith. The most important concept in the Christian lexicon. Too bad it can’t find a comfortable, permanent home in the Christian dictionary.
Take any 10 random Christians. They can even be from the same church. Then…
- give each the following verse.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
- ask each to pray to God to give them an understanding of what the verse is saying about faith and its relationship to evidence.
- give each a sheet of paper and have them write a detailed description of what this faith in Hebrews is and how it is appropriated.
- compare results.
What did they say about this most critical concept of Christianity? Did the holy spirit lead them to a common understanding? Was a consistent hermeneutic standard invoked to produce consistent descriptions?
Keep in mind, this is “faith”, the keystone of all of Christianity. How did they do? Did you find more than 2 or 3 with the degree of commonality expected if they were being guided by the holy spirit or a universal hermeneutic standard?
If your experience is similar to mine, they will attempt to explain away the sharp incongruities among the 10 descriptions of faith with some vague suggestion that faith is experienced differently by different people. Meaning is subjective. We construct our own version of “faith”.
So, in a strange twist if ironic fate, both Christianity and postmodernism find themselves bedding together in a rather uncomfortable and unholy union to combat the advance of scientific reasoning. Fortunately, it appears they’re both sterile if not past the age of intercourse, while science and reason breed like rabbits.