God Gives Us the Ability to Reason
Is Christian Faith Based on Circular Reasoning?
Some tend to view the Christian faith as a form of circular reasoning. The perception of the skeptical world can be summed up in the following way.
Christianity is based on the Bible. The Bible is a book of faith. If you believe the Bible based on faith then Christianity is real to you.
Science, on the other hand, is described as “Objective” and “Real” dealing with facts. People state this, not knowing, that the Bible has proved accurate every time where it speaks of prophecies, history, archaeology, and science. If it is true in all of these areas, and we have nature itself to teach us that there is a Great Designer, then why is there continued disbelief?
Many in today's society believe that the precepts of reason came from great philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates.
This is, of course, a fallacy. These philosophers did not invent reason, they merely pointed out areas of reason
Augustine, a theologian who lived November 13, 354 – August 28, 430, explains this very well:
. "...[T]he validity of logical sequences is not a thing devised by men, but is observed and noted by them.... It exists eternally in the reason of things, and has its origin with God. For as the man who narrates the order of events does not himself create that order; ...and as he who points out the stars and their movements does not point out anything that he himself or any other man has ordained; in the same way, he who says, "When the consequent is false, the antecedent must also be false," says what is most true; but he does not himself make it so, he only points out that it is so. And it is upon this rule that the reasoning ...from the Apostle Paul proceeds. For the antecedent is, "There is no resurrection of the dead...." ...the necessary consequence is "Then Christ is not risen." But this consequence is false, for Christ has risen; therefore the antecedent is also false. ...We conclude therefore that there is a resurrection of the dead. ...This rule, then, that when the consequent is removed, the antecedent must also be removed, is not made by man, but only pointed out by him. And this rule has reference to the validity of the reasoning, not to the truth of the statement."
Jesus Christ constantly out reasoned the Pharisees and the Sadducees by presenting them with logical dilemmas. For instance, when He told them "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone," in answer to their question about the Mosaic Law which stipulated stoning a woman caught in adultery (have you ever wondered why the Pharisees didn't bring the man caught in the act with her to Jesus?).
Another time, religious leaders watched Jesus to see if he would heal the withered hand of a man on the Sabbath Day, as no work was to be done on the Sabbath. Jesus presented them with a logical dilemma: Jesus looked about Him and spied the man with the withered hand and said, "Come here." Then He said to the Pharisees, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to harm, to save life or to kill?" Of course, either way they answered Jesus, they would be putting themselves in a bad light.
After witnessing this great miracle, you would think that the religious leaders would be converted, but, no, they continued to try and entrap Jesus with logical dilemmas--and he out reasoned them every time.
One logical dilemma Jesus created for the religious leaders involved His deity. Jesus asked how it could be that David spoke of his son, the Messiah, as his Lord. The only way this could be true was if Christ was both born a son of David but also existed before David – as God the Son.
If they answered the question, they would have to acknowledge Jesus' deity.
Many, today, are winning people away from the Lord with vain philosophies and beliefs in sorcery and witchcraft.
It is vital, that Christians learn to reason, not just quote scripture. This is something that I work on everyday, and hope that this shows in my writings and, most importantly, in my life.