Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the role of human reasoning in orthodox christianity

3/25/11

 

In typical evangelical theology, man’s ability to reason and use his intellect is vital. That is born out by the fact that most evangelicals would contend that small children and the mentally impaired are not subject to the same salvation requirements as competent adults would be. The salvation process or plan as prescribed by evangelicals always entails gaining knowledge, processing that knowledge logically, and then acting properly on that knowledge. The fact that gaining salvation is an exercise in human reasoning is further demonstrarted by the vast amount of time spent by preachers and teachers dissecting the Bible, tying together widely separated passages to establish the salvation process. If human logic, reasoning, and understanding were not critical, we wouldn’t have seminar trained, paid clergy in the first place.

 

Since, human reasoning is so essential to becoming a Christian, meaning that saving faith is dependent on a sound mind, it is more than ironic that the church would ever attempt to condemn the use of human reasoning and logic in raising questions about certain aspects of its theology. Yet when serious questions are put forth about this or that aspect of Orthodox theology, the church will often simply state that human reasoning and logic are not to be applied in raising such questions or in answering them either. Suddenly, our reasoned, saving faith is supposed to become deaf, dumb, and blind. In fact, the idea is often projected that to attempt to question and reason about certain issues is an affront to God which will insure His wrathful response.

 

A church which encourages salvation through biblical knowledge and intellectual assessment, cannot realistically turn right around and ask its adherents to forsake the human intellect and consider later biblical question as inappropriate or forbidden because we have no right or capability to understand such things. That is doubly so, when the entire church system supposedly promotes Bible study for the Christian as a crowning virtue.

 

Such an ecclesiastical attitude seems more designed to maintain the religious supremacy of the church hierarchy than in dealing openly and honestly with the obvious and often glaring questions. It is difficult to turn your brain on to get saved and then turn it off to stay in right standing with the church.

 

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