Thursday, May 24, 2012

Faith and reason: historical perspectives

Does reason precede faith or the reverse? Or do they have nothing to do with each other. Over history there have been a range of historical perspectives.
Below is a brief summary of the views of some key theologians through the ages. This follows the notes written by Andrew Reid for the Apologetics unit of the Moore College Correspondence Course.

Anselm (1033-1109)
“I believe so that I may understand”

Aquinas (1225-1274)
Reason leads to faith.
i.      use premises that all rational beings are obliged to accept.
ii.     take logical steps that are obvious (i.e. logical) to all
iii.    demonstrate the existence of God

Luther (1483-1546)
Reason is ‘the devil’s whore’ and Aristotle was `a destroyer of pious doctrine’.
The proper use of reason is to examine the world as God has created it.

Calvin (1509-1564)
Faith and reason are hand in hand.

My views are probably closest to Calvin. I think it is very hard and not necessary to separate the two. God gave us brains to use and ultimately for his glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment