Saturday, November 20, 2004

Reason, Emotion, and Submission

To me it seems the two fastest ways to get to bad theology is through reason and emotion.

Reason. Reason tends to go wrong in that we really aren’t as reasonable as we think we are. Also reason believes that it is capable of understanding. Much of theology must be accepted by faith as when we think of the eternal, the infinite as finite creatures we are often left with mystery. Reason through its own pride often acts to try to crush the mystery when it should not be and creates other mystery where it should also not be.

Emotion. Emotion tends to corrupt theology even faster than reason. To say by emotion that God cannot do something on emotion gets into trouble fast. Emotion is suspect because it is our emotion. Starting with emotion is starting with man. Man is fallen and does not know the truth. To start with human emotion and thus work toward theological truth is self defeating.

Submission. Submission is the only good way to do theology. If you accept the bible as God’s word than all answers to faith must begin and end in it. To use reason apart from scripture is futile. We need to let the voice of scripture be our voice of reason. To use emotion to interpret theology before our emotional understanding is firmly tied into the very spirit of the scripture is equally self defeating.

To me this setup seems the only logical one. But I constantly meet people who their own reason or emotion is higher than the reason or emotion contained in the bible.

Personally I tend to err on the side of reason. I should take heed of Calvin’s response of what God was doing before creation. "He was creating hell for the curious."
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