Re: truth debate

Paul Arveson (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 14:43:38 -0500

John wrote:

Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 21:02:11 -0500
From: "John P. McKiness" <>
Subject: Re: truth debate

>Yes, there is a delima [sic] here, how are we to decide which is the right
>revelation? As I remember, C.S. Lewis said something to the effect that all
>other religions contain some of the mysteries but the fulfillment of the
>mysteries comes only in Christ. If reason gets in the way of Christ there
>is no hope and I believe the existance of Christ is beyond reason itself.

"Always be ready to give an answer to any man that asketh you the reason
for the hope that is in you, yet do it with meekness and reverence;"
I Peter 3:15

The Bible does not pit faith and reason against one another, just as it does
not pit faith and works against each other.

>I do not denigh [sic] that there is power in reason, and the Spirit can
>use and
>does use human reason to reach people, but if they are going to grow in the
>faith they will have to lay reason aside and walk in faith. Faith does not
>come in what we can prove or know, it comes in trusting God and in the blind
>leap that must result from that trust.
"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ ..."

Again, both grace and knowledge are combined; they are not against each other.
John Stott's little book, 'Your Mind Matters' offers scores of other Scripture
passages that make this point.

>I do not claim that there is no element of reason in the Christianity, what
>I claim is that it is subserviant to faith. I also believe that if we have
>evidence there is no need for faith and that using science to prove faith is
>simply wrong headed. God is excluded from science and science can say
>nothing about God, or God activity, or God Statements.

As Schaeffer makes clear in the beginning of 'Escape from Reason', there is
a difference between rationality and rationalism. Schaeffer makes clear,
as the Bible does, that Christian faith is not irrational, but rational.
However, Christianity rejects rationalism, which does as you say,
try to 'use science to prove faith'. This is an apologetic approach,
learned from people such as Locke and Newton, now prevalent in the
forms of natural theology, foundationalism, and creationism. It is
putting the cart before the horse, as you said, and it is 'wrong-headed.'

But the answer to bad apologetics is not no apologetics, but good apologetics.

The development of a better apologetic approach is the frequent subject of
discussion on this list. Suffice it to say that there is a dialogical
balance between personal faith or trust and rational evidence and argument.
We are to use all the facilities God gave us to glorify him and know him.
Regarding 'dialogic' I welcome you to explore my web site at

Paul Arveson, Code 724, Signatures Directorate, NSWC
(301) 227-3831 (W) (301) 816-9459 (H) (301) 227-4511 (FAX)