The Christian must, byÂ the very reason that he is a Christian, be prepared to engage with strongholds of thought which rear their head in defiance of the truth of Christ’s Gospel and the created nature of the world. We should not eschew engagement with worldly thought, but decisively and with trueÂ humility seek it out.
In seeking to engage our increasingly pagan culture, we will most certainly come into contact with the notion that Reason must be the goddess which we worship in our discourses & debates on philosophy. Our opponents insist that rationalism must be the playing field, and faith must be kept tucked away in our fairy stories. In disputing morality, economics, education, healthcare, etc., we will be told that Scientism is the measuring rod for deciding what truth is; as ifÂ truth is something to be fashioned rather than found.
The temptation will be to try to play fairly within the rules of their game; for after all, Solomon himself says, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set (Pro. 22:28).” If Rationalism is the game, then we meekly and mildly fold up our unsightly faith, and try to win the game without it.
The reality is, in order to win the soul of a man, community, society, or nation to one’s worldview, an appeal to faith will necessarily be made, regardless of the philosophical or moral agenda of the arguer. The Rationalists insight that we must pay homage to Lady Reason, sacrificing our soul on the altar of materialism.
Christians do their faith no service when they seek to win arguments without acknowledging that the battle is over worshipping and trusting God by submitting reasonÂ to faith, or worshipping and trusting Lady Reason by submitting faithÂ toÂ rationalization. This is essentially an issue of which God will we serve, and which God will be sovereign. The rationalists claim that they are ruled by “Reason”, and “only trust the facts“.Â Â This is, in itself, a step of faith, because it presumesÂ to immediately rule out the Supernatural, and insist that matter is all there is. This is a claim to omniscience, which they endow upon their blind and deaf goddess of Reason.
As usual, it comes down to notÂ if we will trust & serve a god, butÂ which deity we will worship, serve, and trust. Rationalism places all its chips in on believing in faith that man’sÂ reason is ultimate; Christianity subordinatesÂ reason to faith, and is thereby guided to, as it were, Lady Wisdom, which shows the Lord God alone is ultimate. Either faith in God will guide your reason, or else faith in reason will become your god. In this we discover that the goddess of so called Lady Reason, is simply Lady Folly in masquerade.
John Calvin has the last word; as this quote was the spark plug which got this post going in the first place.
They [Philosophers] give the government of man to reason alone, thinking that she alone is to be listened to; in short, they assign to her the sole direction of the conduct. But Christian philosophy bids her give place, and yield complete submission to the Holy Spirit, so that the man himself no longer lives, but Christ lives and reigns in him (Gal. 2:20).
John Calvin (Institutes, Book 3, Chapter 7, Section 1)