Sunday, July 10, 2011
The Logic of Faith
God makes sense. Philosophy, and even sometimes theology, contend that God defies logic, that miracles operate against the laws of nature, that God functions outside of reason. They are all wrong. God, if He is who He says who He is, who He must be, transcends the laws of nature that bind both the earth and the humans who live on it. God invented reason because only He has ever seen chaos. He constructed His earth to operate according to logical demands, and therefore epitomizes it. God is logic.
No one denies that our world operates according to logical systems: physics, chemistry, biology all specify cohesive systems that are detailed, varied, and consistent. We depend on them so heavily that none of us could conceive of any kind of world without them. I won't even entertain the idea that all this complexity evolved by accident. I know this instinctively--when I dump out my puzzle box, not one piece ever falls perfectly into place with its intended neighbor. I have tried this hundreds of times over the years. It never happens. Never. To conceive that such a chemical or physical event occurred millions of times to create our perfectly ordered world is ridiculous. It violates reason, the same reason God planted in human beings to understand. God wants us to use the reason He gave us and says so:
Come now, let us reason together...Isaiah 1:18
This is a sublime invitation. The Lord of the universe wants us to think. And He has something important for us to think about. This passage in Isaiah has God reminding us of the mess we have made:
Ah, a sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruptions! v. 4
Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? v. 5
Stop bringing your meaningless offerings! v. 13
Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. v. 16
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. v. 19-20
This passage is supremely logical. Stop doing what causes you misery and start doing what will result in your benefit. This is God's reasoning. He has the plan that results in our benefit. He begs us to see take advantage of it.
But there is one thing missing from all this. Feelings. God did not ask how anyone feels about any of this. He did not say He wants to make anyone happy nor does He show any concern for whether this plan brings anyone pleasure. He says to do it because it make sense.
Logic goes hand in hand with faith. Reason points directly to God. Feelings work contrary to both.