problem of faith and reason is longstanding in the history of theology.
Augustine held that faith aids reason (credo
ut intelligam) and that reason aids faith (intelligo un creadam). The church father is, however, inclined to
stress the later over the former. It was with Thomas Aquinas, and his Summa Theologica, that the effort to reconcile
faith and reason reached its apex. Rejecting the medieval doctrine of double
truth, he placed natural reason prior to faith in effectively every area of the
Christian life. The restrictions are the mysteries
of the faith that reason cannot penetrate. Thomas’
affirmation of the high role of native reason in Christian belief is linked to his
stress on dialectical method in study, seminally set forth by Peter Abelard. The
form of study is dependent largely on logic to argue both sides of a
theological question. Christian belief is thus the proper result of process or
synthesis. Faith then assents to the final proposition arrived at by reason. Thom…
Pat Robertson is taking it on the chin again. Seems each
time he opines on why bad things happen to us, there is someone to call him on
Most recently, Dr. Richard Mouw has taken up the challenge
in response to Robertson's recent statement on the Las Vegas shooting, in which
at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded in the deadliest
mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
In a piece, titled, "You've Been Warned, PatRobertson!" Mouw, for whom I have deep respect, pens,
"It didn’t take long for some preachers to start
telling us why God caused the horrible mass murder in Las Vegas to happen. Pat
Robertson led the way, declaring that it was divine retribution for the
widespread 'disrespect' for Donald Trump in America."
If Robertson had limited his rationale for the Vegas
shooting to God punishing us for people dissing the President, I'd be smacking
him on the chin myself. But he didn't.
Robertson's brief remarks f…
As a matter of first principles in apologetics, we can ask, “What does the unbeliever know about God?” However, the biblical apologetic is shaped not only by what Scripture says the unbeliever knows, but also by what it reveals he can know; is capable of knowing, as a believer. So we might also ask, “Is it our hope that the unbeliever can know God as God knows himself or that he can know God reflectively, in a creaturely way?” This is the univocal/analogical problem in Christian epistemology.
The question arises in the context of the structure of human thought. It bears its own unique dilemma. If we stress too excessively that knowledge of God is univocal we run the risk of lowering the incomprehensible God to the level of the finite and make God as one of us. But if we stress too emphatically knowledge of God per analogiam we may very well deprive God of all likeness to the humanity he has created with the result that all we are left with is a barren, abstraction.