Faith and reason have been hot topics that were extensively discussed by the very important Christian figures including St. Thomas Acquinas in his work on philosophical theology, the Pope John Paul II in Fides et Ratio, Rev. T. R. R. Stebbing in the rationale of faith, and many others. However, our contemplation and truth seeking about this important nexus still linger on our minds.
Can we really base our faith on rationality?
At some point in our lives, there is a time we call on the supreme being (God Almighty in our context) for help about an overwhelming and scary situation. It often happens in case of fatal accidents, deadly diseases, and other critical circumstances. Is it because we want to test our faith in God or just whether faith works at all? Or is it because we have nothing to lose by soothing our hearts?
Skeptics often object that belief in the Christian God, or any god at all, is a matter of having a blind faith without any rationale for one’s beliefs. But faith doesn’t have to be blind. God created us with thinking minds and he wants us to use them, and he gives us reason to believe in him.
It has become a common sense for some people to make sense of faith through research and verifiable experiences of either themselves or others to determine if Christians’ faith is genuine and life-changing. If those Christians are loving, joyful, etc., particularly if they were known to not be that way before they became Christians, that’s reason for the person to consider that Christianity’s claims could well be true and continue investigating.
If the person reads the Bible, they can compare what the Bible says about life, human nature, etc. with their own experiences and see if those parts are true; they can also research its historical accuracy. If the parts they can immediately verify are true, there is reason for believing that the rest of it could be true as well.
Yes, God gives personalized evidence for believing in Him
Most importantly, if the person asks God to reveal himself to them and enable them to know who he is, God can interact with them in an individual way that gives the person further reason to believe. God, as an omniscient teacher, knows what will be convincing evidence for each person. The investigator who has done all the above has plenty of reasons for believing in God: they’ve seen the effects of his interaction with others, their experience (and possibly research) has so far confirmed what the Bible says, and they’ve personally interacted with him. This evidence, not to mention other reasons for believing that one may discover, is enough for any Christian to believe there’s a rational basis for their faith.
Updated by the FutureTwist editor