Quotes about Reason
Our reason, enlightened by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, stands in the way of sin gaining mastery over us through our desires.
He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; and he that dares not reason is a slave.
Without the capacity of rational argument, all our proof of God ceases.
Wisdom is a process of cognition, not a bombshell out of the sky. In our non-thinking day it is quite popular to short-cut the painful process of reasoning for a blank waiting on some inner voice. It seems highly spiritual to do so and carries with it a magical authority. (“I got this from God at four o’clock in the morning!”) In this way the most spiritually unkempt believer or the novice has equal voice with the wisest Christian veteran.
The illuminist seeks guidance from God by getting a series of impressions, which he believes come as God directly impacts his spirit. The illuminist is often wary of the mind and using his or her reason. Certainly we need to be cautious lest we fall into the error of blindly trusting bare unaided reason. The illuminist, though, often goes so far as to reject any hope that reason can be useful. “This doesn’t come from me,” he will say, “it comes from God.”
Reason and Scripture are systemic and essential to sound decision-making… We are to actually think through the given situation, wrestle with the options, weigh them, sift them, ponder the implications and consequences, and we are to do all of this in the light of truth as we find it in the Scriptures interpreted in context. And we presume, underneath all of this, God is working.
We are to be biblically rational, though not rationalists. This is not a subtle raising of reason above God. Rather, it is a recognition that normally God works through reason.
If reason is unaided (by the Word of God), if it is mere reason by itself, it will do little good. Reason standing alone might lead us to some sort of workable resolution, but it carries the liability of doing so without pleasing God. That circumstance is as unsatisfying to us as it is unsatisfactory to God.
We are free to use our reasoning abilities to draw deductions from any passage of Scripture so long as these deductions do not contradict the clear teaching of some other passage of Scripture.