In the last couple posts, I spent time equating the foundation of emotions with a shallow faith. And while this is true, I feel like I’ve neglected an important reality that needs to be addressed, another way that leads to a shallow faith.
Logic and philosophy.
Before my logic and philosophy oriented friends dismiss it entirely, let me explain the root of faith.
We are invited into a Kingdom that is “not of this world.” It is, by nature, of a different reality – so different, in fact, that we cannot see it or understand it unless we have been born again to that reality. The basis of faith has to be, NEEDS to be, revelation from that other reality, another world, or Heaven for lack of a better phrase. Without that revelation, we might see hints, but we are left to our own devices and they ALL fall woefully short.
The “greatest commandment,” according to King Jesus, is to love the Lord God with all our hearts, souls, mind, and strength.
We each gravitate to the part of that “love” that is conducive to our gifts or personality. Some people are more emotional, by nature, so they are drawn to loving God with their “heart.” Others are more logical, so they are drawn to serve with their “mind.” You get the picture.
But God isn’t interested in having one part of us. He wants the whole person, whether that is part of your personality or not. As someone that is more geared to the “mind” part of that calling, God has had to teach me how to love him with my heart, with my character, with my effort and will. That’s called maturity. It’s not comfortable, but the commandment isn’t to love God with what is “comfortable.”
Being a disciple of the Kingdom of God is an all or nothing thing. And faith in Christ deals with us in a holistic way. If you decide only one of those is what you focus on, then you will, by nature, fail to see God for who he is. And that leads to deception.
How do we find the balance? The balance is in revelation from God, the Spirit that is the only one that can reveal the mind and heart and message of God, and other disciples fully committed to him (what “church” is supposed to be).
Dealing with logic and philosophy in particular, there are many who seek to prove or disprove God using logic alone, apart from the revelation of God and the other parts of our being that long to be corrected according to the Truth. Logic is reliant upon evidence (or should be), and so if the evidence that is used is purely of this world, then you are limited to two things: 1) what the humans of this world can reasonably discover, investigate, and interpret and 2) the amount of information one individual can conceivably consume and process.
The despair of this is that the world, every day, produces more information than one individual can possibly learn in that same day. And that becomes exponentially true as each day comes and goes.
Realize, I haven’t even gotten into the biases and deceptions within the interpretations of that information both on individual and institutional levels, the self-evident corruption in the world. God helps with that, too.
In other words, since logic is based on information and evidence, and there is exponentially more logic and information than an individual can hope to incorporate into a search for truth and reality, logic and philosophy alone become a gross limitation. Shallow.
Now, let’s suppose that there is a Creator, and the Creator of all things is interested in revealing himself and helping us navigate our way to truth. There is no information we, as the creation, can discover that he does not already know. It all originates with him. If we search for truth, reality, what better Person to help us than an all-knowing, loving, all-powerful God who wants to help us if we will but humble ourselves and listen.
As a disciple of Christ, I do not “suppose” this. It has been proven true in my life again and again. I declare it as the only way.
Logic is used, no doubt. I’ve used it in this post. But the logic is based not on the limited amount of information I can process or learn but in partnership with the revelation of a God who loves me, will not lie to me, and wants the best for me.
Sometimes, God isn’t speaking to my logic. He does not give a logical answer, delays my mental understanding for a time, because he wants to deal with my heart, my character. His promise is that I will one day understand, but in the meantime, will I trust in the peace that passes understanding? Or, more importantly, will I trust in the Prince of Peace when I don’t get the answers I want?
God brings tests to deal with different parts of my being, and the others feel neglected. For those of us who deeply desire to understand it all, this is REALLY DIFFICULT.
But because God loves us, all of us, every part of us, he seeks to bring us to the place where every part of us glorifies him. If we fight that, resist that, we resist love and truth and fact and reality. Deception and pride will be the natural result of that resistance. And it logically follows that then faith dies with it, and the plant dies, as the parable says.
To return to logic, doesn’t it make sense that if I can have access to the One who knows everything, that I take advantage of that access? I may not get the answers I want or think I need or expect, but because he loves me, what I get from him will be what is best for me, best for the Kingdom, best for eternity. Often, however, I get the very answers I seek. And by nature of the Kingdom, it will be a different answer from those that are limited by what this world can teach them.
For many people, they think that faith is devoid of evidence and logic and proof. That idea could not be further from the truth. The truth is that faith includes, and is reliant upon, evidence and logic and proof from another world, another reality, from the eternal Kingdom that never fades and can never be shaken.
Makes perfect sense to me.