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Reason vs. Example

March 11, 2007

I have been under the impression recently that faith being spread through means of reason has failed; or at least it has failed in the west. We have armies of theologians and mountains of books, none of which do anything to change that Christianity has been in decline for the last fifty years. I’m still pretty convinced that the only way there will be any turn around in the western world is if we start to live our faith. Not just Sundays and around church, but living the radical, counter-cultural aspects of Christ’s life.

However, Professor Tingley, The Dean of Augustine College (Which I am currently attending), disagrees with me, at least in part. When I mentioned this in class on Friday his response got me thinking, “Has reasoned failed? The real question is: Has reason even been given a chance? People don’t come into contact with it.” This is the other aspect of our failure as the Western Church. We aren’t able to communicate the reasonableness of our faith. The secular world doesn’t know that we are not just blind and irrational but that we have reasons for believing what we do.

I understand this as a twofold failure. The first is that without Reason there is no attraction. Nobody wants to believe in an irrational faith. This is where apologetics has to be strong. Faith in practice is the other arm. Whether or not the faith is reasonable, it also has to work in peoples lives. This is where testimony comes in.

Testimony and Apologetics, these are what the western world needs today. And it needs them both equally. I guess this means my stance has been revised but not complete altered. Without the faith in practice we won’t see people willing to investigate the reasonableness of our faith. Without being prepared to defend the reasonableness of our faith even example isn’t enough. Paul knew this, why don’t we?  Why didn’t I?

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