Released: June 10, 2014 By: Daniel Whyte III
Our Reasons to Believe Scripture passage for today is 1 Corinthians 9:19-22. It reads, "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Martin Luther. He said, "If the devil were wise enough and would stand by in silence and let the gospel be preached, he would suffer less harm. For when there is no battle for the gospel it rusts and it finds no cause and no occasion to show its vigor and power. Therefore, nothing better can befall the gospel than that the world should fight it with force and cunning."
Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled "Objections In the Discussion of Faith and Reason" (Part 3) from "The Handbook of Christian Apologetics" by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli:
Today, we will continue with our objections and replies in the discussion of faith and reason:
Objection 5: But aren't Christians' reasons really rationalizations? Aquinas didn't really arrive at the existence of God by means of the reasoning in his five proofs; he learned it from his mother. Then, as an adult, he looked for some reasons to confirm the faith he had already adopted for nonlogical reasons. That's not reasoning but rationalizing.
Reply A: Even if that were all Aquinas did, it would not invalidate his proofs. An irrational subjective motive does not necessarily mean an irrational objective argument. Suppose Einstein had discovered that E = MC squared because he was a Nazi who wanted to invent the atom bomb to conquer the Allies and win the world for Hitler. That bad motive would not mean that E does not equal MC squared. The objection commits "the genetic fallacy": confusing the psychological origin of an idea with its logical validity.
Reply B: Looking for good reasons for your faith can be perfectly honest if you are also open to reasons against it, as Aquinas certainly was. The objections against the many doctrines he defends in the Summa are manifold, fairly stated and objectively answered.
Reply C: Although Aquinas first learned about God by faith, Aristotle didn't. He knew nothing of the Scriptures, but much about God. History proves that human reason unaided by faith in divine revelation can come to know the existence and some of the attributes of God --- for example, that he is one, eternal, perfect, intelligent and the uncaused cause. Aristotle did just that. His reasoning was not rationalizing, for he had no faith to rationalize (except faith in reason itself).
Revelation takes us for an easy ride up the mountain of truth in a divinely provided helicopter. Reason struggles and scrambles up the hard, slow footpath, and doesn't get nearly as far up. Neither way invalidates the other. But millions can get to the top in the helicopter, while only a few Aristotles can get more than a few feet up the path by walking.