Theological reasoning strives to pose questions and answer them in terms of sacred theology. Such issues as meaning, essences, causes, distinctions, and so on compose the core of reason. For instance, questions about what grace is and what God reveals by it can be posed. This teaches how to consider theological problems, thus penetrating a believer’s soul and deepening the understanding of the mysteries of faith.
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As a rule, reason, and faith are regarded as the two sources of religious justification. Taking into account that the mentioned sources serve the same epistemic function, it is necessary to identify their interconnection, in particular, how the first one may deepen the latter. Some philosophers believe that these elements may conflict to varying extents (Eagleton 78). However, being more rational, the reason may provide essential arguments for the support of faith. To believe, people have to have an appropriate reason as well as faith, as these are the two integral elements of belief. According to the Bible, faith is not blind, yet it is substantial and embraced by hope (Eagleton 38). At this point, the reason is considered a tool is given by God to people to help them come up with conclusions and relevant decisions. This means that reasoning strengthens faith. For example, no one knows for sure that he or she is saved.
Nonetheless, the Bible offers the following statement: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9) (Hunter 9). Thus, one realizes that Jesus is Lord and that God saved Him from death. Therefore, people are saved. The above conclusion was made by using logical reasoning to reinforce faith.
Sometimes people tend to misuse and misunderstand reason, treating it as a standard or as opposing God. Neither of the above ways is correct. On the contrary, a believer can reason this or that issue only appropriately and religiously as God’s gift. More importantly, it is necessary to seek reasoning proposed by the Bible (Albl 42). In other words, the Scriptures encourage people to explore the world, acquire knowledge and understanding, and train other intellectual practices. Reason itself cannot lead to Christian life and salvation as it lacks the emotional and spiritual matters.
The reasoning is an essential and powerful constituent of faith, but people have to remember that only God knows conversion. In this regard, one more benefit of adding reason to faith is that the former, which is expressed in cognitive skills, facilitate the latter. This is what the Apostle Paul mentions as the renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2) (Fisher 50). The renewal can be explained as the use of cognitive skills to reach the most outstanding devotion to God. The believers are expected to involve and properly integrate intellectual and spiritual activities to discover their faith’s depths. The reason that is given by God and the spirit of a believer composes a great power that can explore the most hidden corners of one’s soul. Thus, reason and knowledge serve as a basis for faith, devotion to God, and awareness of His majesty. At the same time, reason acts as an integral aspect of self-recognition and understanding of religion in general.
Albl, Martin C. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. St. Mary’s Press, 2015.
Eagleton, Terry. Reason, Faith, & Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate. Yale University Press, 2014.
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Fisher, Matthew M. Overcoming the Temporal. Booktango, 2014.
Hunter, Joan. Miracle Maintenance: How to Receive and Keep God’s Blessings. Whitaker House, 2013.