Faith With Reason – Hebrews Chapter 11
Biblically, the word “faith,” in the Greek, is pistis: Being persuaded, convinced; belief. Paul uses this Greek noun 142 times (101 times in the rest of the NT), the verb, pisteuo, he uses another 54 times and the adjective , pistos, 33 other times. It is concerning confidence or trust in a thing. Faith is an intellectual assent to certain truth statements, which may or may not include experiences of such truth statements. What I would add to this definition is that there is no such thing as a (so-called) “leap of faith” or “blind faith.” By definition, faith is not an irrational “blind leap.” Strictly speaking, if one “leaps” or follows “blindly,” then that one is operating out of something other than “faith.” Such a one could easily be religious, but void of any faith, in fact. The logic of faith is found in the fact that, whatever emotional response that may accompany it, faith is an “intellectual assent” – it is necessarily reasonable, and something, first, done with the mind. The demand for faith was a new thing that began with Christianity. Christianity is, in and of itself, in fact, a faith event. And, for Paul, faith is a place of union with Christ – a Mystical organic union.
God is the source and fount of all thought and Jesus Christ is the spoken reason of God to humanity. Our ability to reason and think logically comes from God. Therefore, faith necessitates the reason (and logic) of God found in Christ; and reason (and logic) necessitate the faith of Christ, for they originate in God. For Paul, the mind is precisely where faith actively transforms a person (Rom. 12:2). The mind, for Paul, is deep in the core of one’s being – a compound of the spirit, the conscience, and the seat of thought. In fact, without faith, the compound is inactive and reason becomes a tool of human depravity that works against God’s worldview in ironic ignorance (Rom. 1:28; 7:23, 25; 8:6-7, 27; 11:34).
Faith is not “we believe in something that we can’t prove” (that’s so-called “blind faith;” religion). It is not simply something we need to be “saved,” and then we are magically empowered to live life as “Christians.” Faith speaks of Vision, a knowing of an axiomatic truth, and we live empowered by the Resurrected Christ of that truth (The Cruciform).
So, when reason is used against the faith it becomes illogical – it contradicts the fount and source of reason. Likewise, when the church attempts faith without reason it abandons “the Word” of God – the mind of God. However, reason will always reveal the hypocrisy of (so-called) faith when it acts illogically, and rightly so. And the church must utilize reason in order to secure the faith, or risk being found contrary to God’s worldview. Faith transforms how one thinks. When the church (or any other agenda-organized entity) tries to advance a blind leap of adherence to a thing, preventing or perverting thought, reason and logic stand faithfully on guard. The logic of faith is that there is no faith without reason, and reason absent of faith is illogically depraved and ironically uninformed. One cannot remove reason from faith. The logic of faith is irrefutable – it is the mind of God.