Friday 3/17/2017 5:31 AM
Being a mathematician I value logic and reason. In my world not much can beat a well thought out and well-reasoned argument. Elegant proofs of theorems are highly treasured and sought out. Principles like Ockham’s Razor are used to trim away excessive assumptions so an argument can be synthesized into its simplest form.
Sometimes I try to use logic and reason to try to convince others of the reality of God. Most of the time it falls on deaf ears and listener remains unmoved. Today I read a quote by John Wesley that reminds me of the futility of that kind of reasoning. He writes, “Permit me to add a few plain words to you likewise who overvalue reason. … Let reason do all that reason can; employ it as far as it will go. But, at the same time, acknowledge it is utterly incapable of giving either faith, hope or love, and, consequently of producing either real virtue or substantial happiness. Expect these from a higher source, even from the Father of the spirits of all flesh. Seek and receive them, not as your own acquisition, but as the gift of God.”
His writing reminds me of 1 Corinthians 1:21-25, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser that human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” I also thought of Hebrews 11:6, “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.”
Mankind’s most impressive minds and thought processes will not lead them to faith in God, sacrificial love for their fellow man, or hope for the future. These are all gifts from God and cannot be found through reason or logic alone.