Essay / Philosophy

Revelation and Reason

John Mark Reynolds, 2004.

Today’s class was on Dorothy Sayers. Ably led by Miss Silvers, we delved into the relationship between Revelation and reason. Some of my thoughts from this class. I think the world to be a reasonable place, but it may not all be open to our reason. Some problems are just too hard for some beings. It is the error of mediocre men to imagine that many of them can equal one man of genius. But two million Homer Simpsons will not have a better idea than one Aquinas. Some problems are too difficult for all but rare men. In the same way, there are some truths the cosmos was designed to teach us. God made man to walk in relationship with Himself. The cosmos was designed to aid that walk. It is a support system for the religious life. It can point to God, but it cannot show us God. Man was meant to know God by walking with Him in the cool of the evening. So there are great truths, such as the Trinity, that are reasonable, but cannot first be known by human reason. After you see vulgar, you wonder why you did not think of it. . . or why someone did not think of it sooner. Inventions like the wheel cannot be forgotten, the moment seen they transform. They are so obviously “right.” In the same way, once God revealed a description of His nature, it could not be forgotten. It changed everything. People hit themselves on the head and said, “Oh. Now I get it.” Trinitarian imagery appeared to them everywhere. It was obvious. So revelation from God in His written Word is not unreasonable. To the contrary, once seen it is almost impossible to avoid. Greeks, even Greeks who rejected Christian thought, were entranced by Christian ideas. They invented their own trinity. Revelation aids reason. It can never stand against it. In the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

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