Faith and Reason (Part 4)

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The Reasons to Believe #23

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from C.S. Lewis. He said, “If you had gone to Buddha and asked him: ‘Are you the son of Brahma?’ he would have said, ‘My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.’ If you had gone to Socrates and asked, ‘Are you Zeus?’ he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, ‘Are you Allah?’ he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, ‘Are you Heaven?’ I think he would have probably replied, ‘Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.’ The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic…”

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture passage for today is 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22. It reads, “Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “Faith and Reason” (part 4) from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli:

Emotional faith is feeling assurance or trust or confidence in a person. This includes hope (which is much stronger than just a wish) and peace (which is much stronger than mere calm).

Intellectual faith is belief. This is stronger than emotional faith in that it is more stable and unchanging, like an anchor. My mind can believe while my feelings are shaken. This belief, however, is held tight, unlike a mere opinion. The old definition of intellectual faith was “the act of the intellect, prompted by the will, by which we believe everything God has revealed on the grounds of the authority of the One who revealed it.” It is this aspect of faith that is formulated in propositions and summarized in creeds.

Volitional faith is an act of the will, a commitment to obey God’s will. This faith is faithfulness, or fidelity. It manifests itself in behavior, that is, in good works. Just as a hope deeper than a wish is central to emotional faith, and a belief deeper than an opinion is central to intellectual faith, so a love deeper than a feeling is central to volitional faith. For the root of volitional faith—the will—is the faculty or power of the soul that is closest to the prefunctional root and center called the “heart”

The intellect is the soul’s navigator, but the will is its captain. The intellect is its Mr. Spock, the will is its Captain Kirk, and the feelings are its Dr. McCoy. The soul is an “Enterprise,” a real starship. The will can command the intellect to think, but the intellect cannot command the will to will, only inform it, as a navigator informs the captain. Yet the will cannot simply make you believe. It can’t force the intellect to believe what appears to it to be false, or to disbelieve what seems to it to be true. Belief is what happens when you decide to be honest and put your mind in the service of truth.