Have you ever thought about the inherent danger if you don’t balance faith and reason? Have you ever heard a sermon describing the Biblical balance between faith and reason? If you haven’t, it’s possible that you may be in danger of having defective faith—a faith that is less than God’s best for your life.
Here’s what we know for sure—God has a role for faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who
comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God also has a role for reason. I Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Everyone realizes that we face situations and seasons where it seems difficult if not impossible to balance faith and reason. Ravi Zacharias, a great defender of the Christian faith expressed it this way, “God has given enough reason in this world to make faith a most reasonable thing. But he has left out enough to make it impossible to live by reason alone.”
Unfortunately, too many Christians don’ understand the inherent dangers to their spiritual life. Christians don’t realize that the lack of balance between faith and reason will ultimately lead to a very defective faith. Here are three negative results if we don’t prioritize both faith and reason:
Blind Faith: Too many people hide behind “blind faith”. In other words, they don’t think through issues or don’t think they should. Too many Christians don’t think about doctrine and apologetics. They ignore questions they feel are uncomfortable. In reality, people who hide behind blind faith literally stick their head in the sand when it comes to using their mind. Unfortunately, the Christian can’t ignore these issues forever. When doubts eventually come into a person’s life—it creates deep inner tension that causes a person to live a split life. They are supposed to believe in everything they find in the Bible but certain things they seem to believe with less commitment—primarily because they have never thought it through.
Weak Faith: Other people have “weak faith” because they never really exercise their faith. Some Christians want everything proved with 100% certainty! Unfortunately, this approach results in a lack of a faith muscle. They never learn the importance of trusting in God when you can’t see all the facts or can’t see the future. Some Christians end up deeply disappointed when they finally discover that you can’t have certainty in everything.
Timid Faith: Other people have “timid faith” because they don’t have the confidence to share their faith. If a Christian is eager to share their faith in the 21st century it is essential that they know how to respond to the basic talking points of our skeptical culture. It’s not surprising that if a Christian doesn’t prioritize the role of reason that they will be very hesitant in talking to people about spiritual things. Unfortunately, one of the bigger reasons why Christians don’t share their faith is that deep down they don’t question whether or not their faith is reasonable.
There was never a more important time for Christians to understand the delicate balance between faith and reason. God has established both “faith” and “reason” as an integral part of our spiritual journey. God never envisioned that we would have defective faith. Unfortunately, too many Christians stick their heads in the sand and don’t think through issues; many Christians are paralyzed by the need for certainty and never exercise their faith; and far too many Christians never have enough confidence to walk across the room to talk about their faith. We live at a time where we can’t ignore either faith or reason. If you want to learn more about the divine balance of faith and reason, pick up my book Footprints of Faith: Defending the Christian Faith in a Skeptical Culture.