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Can You Reason Your Way to Faith?

Os Guinness wrote that faith in Christ is much more than rational but certainly not less than rational. The relationship between reason and faith has been hotly debated in intellectual circles. Some say that reason is the only way to go because faith is utterly without reason or evidence (modernists or rationalists). Others say that we should believe solely by faith in the absence of any reasons (fideists). Still others see a compatibility between faith and reason with different emphases on one or the other. C.S. Lewis and others have argued that there is enough evidence (reasons) available to lead to the psychological exclusion of doubt, though not the logical exclusion of dispute. He believed that the weight of evidence was for, rather than against, Christianity. This lecture explores these various views, some biblical passages on faith and evidence, and how to address various types of doubt in yourself or in others.

Study Questions

  1. What does the term “apologetics” mean?
  2. What is the role of apologetics in evangelism? How does it contribute to saving faith?
  3.  What is the central problem with modernism (or rationalism)?
  4. What is the central problem of fideism?
  5. How is Augustine a good example of how reason and faith work together?
  6. What are a couple of sources of doubt that do not arise from rational objections?
  7. What do you think of the biblical passages on faith and evidence? Can you think of others?

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