Is It Reasonable To Reason If you Reason It Out One Would Be A Christian?

THIS GOT ME STARTED WITH THIS POST:  “Faith is not a matter of Reason” Which lead to several websites and article: This quote by Dr. Lloyd-Jones I saw by Ed Franklin on Facebook

image_thumb.pngCharles e Whisnant

Lloyd-Jones 1Dr. Lloyd-Jones

“Faith is not a matter of reason. Some people teach that it is. They say that if only men and women would use their minds, they would be bound to become Christians; they can reason themselves into Christianity. But that is thoroughly unscriptural. They cannot because the natural man or woman’s reason is also fallen. Not only that, there are supernatural and miraculous elements in faith to which reason cannot attain.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (God The Holy Spirit)

As I do often I Google “Faith is a matter of reason” and came upon this article: that was from

Reasons to Believe website:—a-matter-of-faith  By Dr. Jeff Zweerink

Just before Thanksgiving last year, a New York Times article by Paul Davies said:

…”science has its own faith-based belief system. All science proceeds on the assumption that nature is ordered in a rational and intelligible way. You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.”

Davies added:

“Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith — namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too. For that reason, both monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail to provide a complete account of physical existence.”

Davies said (I have added this quote from Davies

SCIENCE, we are repeatedly told, is the most reliable form of knowledge about the world because it is based on testable hypotheses. Religion, by contrast, is based on faith. The term “doubting Thomas” well illustrates the difference. In science, a healthy skepticism is a professional necessity, whereas in religion, having belief without evidence is regarded as a virtue”

As you might expect, the article prompted a considerable response from various scientists. More recently, a response (search for “Davies” inside newsletter PDF) in the spring 2008 Forum on the History of Physics newsletter caught my attention. The author boils Davies’ argument down to this proposition: “All human knowledge is uncertain and incomplete.” He then advances three caveats against Davies’ proposition and in favor of trusting scientific beliefs.

  1. Not all uncertainty is created equal; there are degrees of certainty, depending on the strength of reasonable ground for our beliefs.
  2. Science has widely accepted strategies for producing and evaluating evidence that provides firm grounds for scientific beliefs.
  3. Science works; it produces reliable knowledge with demonstrable effects.

I distinctly remember a lunchtime conversation at a local Subway where Ken Samples was articulating the Argument from Reason (AfR). As I understood Ken’s explanation, the AfR contends that naturalistic philosophies cannot account for the rational inferences which provide the backbone of scientific inquiry. Blind naturalistic mechanisms, like those typically invoked in the theory of evolution, provide no basis for human beings to trust the thought processes operating in our brains. In contrast, Christianity does provide a basis for rational thought by virtue of humanity being made in God’s image. In other words, humanity’s capability for rational thought flows from God’s rationality.

I responded to Ken, “So what, science works.” Like most philosophically challenged scientists, I did not appreciate the weight of the AfR. As I have pondered the argument more and discussed it further with Ken, I better understand its import (although I still have trouble articulating the argument in a way others understand).

Davies grapples with the elements of science that derive from a Christian worldview. We believe the world to be governed by a reliable, rational set of physical laws. Further, we believe humanity possesses the necessary mental capacities to discover and understand those laws. Naturalists have yet to provide a compelling, or even adequate, explanation for these beliefs.

On the other hand, the Christian worldview firmly grounds the characteristics necessary to the scientific enterprise in an uncaused Creator who endowed us with the ability to understand His creation.—a-matter-of-faith

Subjects: Argument from Reason, Philosophy of Science

I do love researching articles such as this:


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