Monday, September 10, 2007

Reason and Revelation: Reason (Part 1)

Reasoning is when we take what we already know, combine it with revelation, and arrive at some new knowledge, understanding, and insight. Revelation alone is insufficient to bring us to new understanding and knowledge. Consider what Jesus said in the parable of the sower and the seed.
"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road." (Matthew 13:19)
Jesus speaks of the one who hears the word (revelation) but fails to understand it (reason). The Greek word for "understand" means to "put together" or to "mentally comprehend". It is not enough to merely receive revelation, God wants us to "put it together"; to combine it with what we already know that we might grow in knowledge and understanding. James referred to this as "in grafting" or "implanting" the word (James 1:21). This process of bringing together both the rational and the revelatory is the heart of reason and is the process by which we grow in knowledge and understanding.

Reasoning is a process, and it is a process that is executed with various levels of success by different people. Often, the reason we arrive at wrong conclusions is not because our base knowledge or received revelation was faulty, but rather because our reasoning was flawed. Learning, understanding, and insight are limited by the quality of our reasonings.

Over the next few posts, I want to look at some of the various ways we reason and what counsel the scriptures give us as to how we reason.

More to come... David Robison

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