Lumen Fidei: The Dialogue Between Faith & Reason

We continue our exploration of the nature of the truth which informs and forms our faith.  We have noted that it is truth rooted in love, and mediated through the senses.  Today, we understand it to be truth that is compatible with reason.

The simple truth is that some of the great minds of history have been women and men of faith.  Yes, some great minds have also been atheistic, but the point in this meditation is that faith is not dumb, simplistic, or anti-intellectual.  It is not superficial or embarrassing.  The subject of faith engages the mind as much as anything else does.

Pope Francis uses St. Augustine as the illustration of the synthesis of faith and reason.  We could just as easily do it with Luther, Calvin, or Wesley.  And still today, people like Evelyn Underhill and C.S. Lewis reveal the interplay between keen minds and warm hearts.

In the final analysis, the truth of faith is the truth which is born of encounter, regardless of the means.  By affection and cognition, by will and through Mystery, we are compelled to believe by a truth that is not simply studied, but also experienced.  We are people of faith because in all sorts of ways we have become people of wonder, touched by the Living God!

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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