By Bob Walters
Modern man loves logic.
From the ancient Greek philosophers before Christ to our science-laden academy of today, the Western mind has an abiding fascination with logic as the primary test of truth.
Yet, for the nearly two millennia separating these eras, theology was the dominant academic pursuit. The appearance, death, burial, resurrection, witness and story of Jesus Christ required an entirely new way of thinking about God, humanity, life, creation, relationships, love, and eternity.
Who was that guy?
Philosophy and science are great at establishing logical systems and/or facts. But they are entirely inadequate when it comes to explaining love and relationships, which are who and what Jesus is. Mistakenly-coveted secular “truth” – what man can prove logically, philosophically or scientifically – is diminutive when compared with the Truth of the Lord and Creator of the universe.
Philosophy is man’s own intellectual search for life’s meaning, and science often substitutes as modern man’s empirical search for Creation. The logic of sophisticated argument, or the evidence of repeatable science, tickles our sensibilities and imaginations. As such, man by his own effort triumphantly and “logically” captures center stage in the carnal sweepstakes of cosmic purpose.
Except … that’s not our place, and not God’s plan.
Man’s logic can be used to prove almost any “truth” one might imagine. But logic’s limitation is that while it can define and categorize things, it can’t love things, and it can’t abide faith. Evidence is great for the things one can see, but incomplete for the things of the heart, the mind and the eternal that we can’t see (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Faith, you see, is what ties it all together. Faith makes the world larger and more coherent to human intellect. Faith allows man to put Jesus Christ, who is “all things” (John 1:3), properly at the center of our own lives and all Creation. That’s where God puts Him, where God wants us to put Him, and the only place where we can truly recognize Him.
We can learn a great deal about God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit – the Trinity – by logical investigation (the Bible, study, etc.) and using the systems of philosophy and science. But, we cannot be in relationship with the divine without faith.
Sure, God gave us the freedom to try to figure things out on our own. Logic suggests God will do a much better job of it.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) notes that theology fails to serve the Lord’s purpose when Christianity is explained as a system rather than as a relationship.