The Surprising Harmony: How The Reformed Christian View of Faith and Reason Offers an Integrated Approach to Life


In the world of Christianity, faith and reason have been a topic of debate for centuries. While some believe that faith is a purely emotional experience, others argue that there must be a logical basis for belief.

This is where the Reformed Christian view of faith and reason comes in. The approach, known as ”presuppositional apologetics,” asserts that faith is the foundation of all reasoning, and that reason must be subject to faith.

But what does this mean, and how does it impact our understanding of God and the world around us? Exploring this complex and often misunderstood topic can reveal a great deal about the nature of belief, and the ways in which we interact with our faith.

Apologetics, as it turns out, is not simply about clearing up misunderstandings or explaining away discrepancies. Rather, it’s a whole approach to faith that seeks to integrate reason and revelation, allowing for a more holistic understanding of God and the world.

And nowhere is this more evident than in the Reformed Christian tradition, which emphasizes the sovereignty of God and the importance of using our minds to seek truth. In the face of scientific discoveries and philosophical challenges, Reformed thinkers have not retreated into dogmatism or blind faith, but rather have embraced the tension between faith and reason as a means of deepening our understanding of both.

Far from being an obstacle to faith, reason becomes a tool for exploring the mysteries of God and the complexities of the world he created. So if you’re looking for a faith that is both intellectually rigorous and spiritually satisfying, it’s worth considering the Reformed view of faith and reason.

Who knows? You might find that the tension between the two is a source of surprising harmony after all.

Introduction: Faith and Reason

Faith and reason may appear as conflicting concepts, but Reformed Christianity amalgamates the two to present a comprehensive approach to life. At the core of this perspective lies the acknowledgement of human reasoning’s limitations and the ultimate reliance on God’s sovereignty.

This view recognizes the value of reason and intellectual inquiry in comprehending and interpreting God’s truths. The approach to studying scripture highlights both spiritual discernment and scholarly analysis.

Alister McGrath notes that ”Theology’s purpose is to enable us to respond to God better,” which necessitates faith and reason working together harmoniously. By adopting this integrated approach, Christians can gain a deeper understanding of the universe’s mysteries and our place within it.

This enriches both our spiritual and intellectual lives. Ultimately, the Reformed view of faith and reason offers a holistic perspective on the world and our purpose within it, accentuated by the central tenet of Christ’s redemptive grace.


Reformed Christianity’s View on Faith and Reason

Reformed Christianity believes that faith and reason complement each other. Though faith is grounded in divine revelation, reason is still a valuable tool to understand the world.

In our world, reason is often seen as the highest form of knowledge, making this approach to faith and reason seem perplexing. However, the Reformed view offers a harmonious approach to life.

It encourages exploring the world with reason while also valuing divine revelation and recognizing the limits of human knowledge.The Reformed view realizes that we are finite beings attempting to understand an infinite world.

By embracing both faith and reason, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, our place in the world, and the ultimate purpose of life. In a chaotic and confusing world, this approach offers much-needed clarity and hope.


A Brief History of Faith and Reason

Faith has been discussed since the beginning of time. As humans, we ponder our existence and purpose.

People link faith to the creation of the universe and humanity’s relationship with a higher power. Faith is used to justify what can’t be explained and to provide comfort during uncertainty.

However, some argue that faith and reason are opposites. They claim that reason always prevails over faith.

But what if a life approach allowed faith and reason to coexist in harmony?The Reformed Christian view values faith and reason equally. It suggests that faith isn’t blindly jumping into the unknown, but relying on evidence and reason.

The history of faith and reason is complicated, but the Reformed Christian perspective offers a feasible alternative. What if we could have both? What if faith and reason collaborated, providing a more comprehensive understanding of our place in the world? The idea is intriguing and warrants further exploration.


The Integration of Faith and Reason in Daily Life

The Reformed Christian view offers a unique way of integrating faith and reason, which may seem like opposing views. By focusing on the Bible and its teachings, followers see them as essential to daily living.

This tradition embraces intellectual inquiry through the lens of religious beliefs, attaining a holistic understanding of life that’s constantly evolving. Thus, Reformed Christians show that intellectual pursuits and spiritual calling can work in harmony.


Benefits of an Integrated Approach

The debate on the balance between faith and reason is divisive. The Reformed Christian view, however, provides a solution by integrating both logic and spirituality.

Research shows that this approach leads to better mental health, productivity, and overall happiness. Theologians like C.S. Lewis recognize the value of this holistic understanding of the world.

By embracing this approach, individuals can fully participate in both the intellectual and spiritual richness of life, leading to a fulfilling and meaningful existence.

Common Misconceptions of Faith and Reason

The age-old debate between faith and reason still rages on. In this context, R.C. Sproul, a prominent Reformed Christian thinker, offers a surprising perspective.

Despite misconceptions about the compatibility of faith and reason, Sproul argues that they can work together to offer a more integrated approach to life. Through his teachings, Sproul dispels the myth that faith requires abandoning reason.

Instead, he highlights the complementary nature of faith and reason, which leads to a deeper understanding of the world and our place in it. Although some may still scoff at the idea, Sproul’s approach provides a thought-provoking framework that challenges traditional thinking.

It offers a new way of looking at the world.

Conclusion: The Beauty of Harmony.

In a chaotic and confusing world, finding harmony can seem impossible. But what if there was a way to make sense of the seemingly senseless? That’s where Reformed Christian apologetics comes in.

Proponents of this view believe that faith and reason can coexist, creating an intellectually rigorous and spiritually profound worldview. This approach encourages curiosity, evidence-based reasoning, and a deep appreciation for the divine mystery.

It reminds us that the pursuit of truth is a lifelong journey, requiring humility, openness, and a willingness to engage with difficult questions. In a polarized and cynical time, this integrated approach offers hope and possibility.


Closing Remarks

In conclusion, the Reformed Christian view of faith and reason is a complex, layered, and thought-provoking topic that requires careful examination and scrutiny. While some may view faith and reason as two separate and distinct entities, the Reformed Christian perspective emphasizes their inherent connection and interdependence.

From the early church fathers to contemporary theologians, the Reformed tradition has championed the importance of both faith and reason in shaping our understanding of God and his plan for humanity. And while there may be those who dismiss the Reformed view as outdated or irrelevant, its enduring influence on Christian thought and practice remains undeniable.

Ultimately, the Reformed Christian view of faith and reason challenges us to think deeply and critically about our beliefs, and to embrace the richness and complexity of the Christian faith in all its glory.

Apologetics | Train up a child

I think I’m on a dad blog kick here, I hate to say it, but it’s extremely easy to model my posts after my child. She does things right, she does things wrong and often she does things that just don’t make sense. I’m sure we’re similar to God in that aspect, He shakes his head at a lot of what we do, or doesn’t understand why we do things. Unfortunately, that’s not what this post is about, really. It’s about Apologetics, or more conversely training our children to understand the “Whys” behind our faith.

See, when I was growing up, going through Christian school, church and Wednesday night youth group, I understood what was right and wrong, I understood the Bible stories and I understood what God expected of me, but I didn’t understand the “Why”. This (after a very long winding path, that I may or may not get to) has led me to finally getting into and studying apologetics.

In his book, Love your God with all your Mind, Moreland makes a salient point that after the Great Revival in the United States we lost our intellectual curiosity surrounding Christianity. See, prior to 1850 really, local pastors, lay preachers and the clergy in general were extremely educated men. They were often Doctors, Lawyers, Philosophers that were primarily Christians. Many of our church fathers were also educated as well. Many Apostles were educated or had become educated after Christ’s return to Heaven, Paul being a roman citizen was extremely educated and Peter, being only a fisherman’s son, became educated in Rome after the resurrection as well.

Christianity is the only faith on Earth that tells us to continuously question our leaders, pray and read, and to find God in His perfect systems through science, math, logic, reason and our own studies on philosophy, civility and government. Somewhere after the Great Revival, but before Darwin’s explosive report on evolution and his theories surrounding it, we found an intellectual Fischer in Christianity. No, it wasn’t that our clergy were illiterate, it was the people they were preaching to stayed but infants in the faith.

I’ve spoken about it before, but this is how our faith, what was once taken as truth for over a thousand years in the west, became relegated to simply personal opinion. Science, and the human fallibility ingrained within the discipline, became the new religion. It would slowly take hold among the brightest minds and infiltrate to the smallest children throughout the 20th century. Now, I am not saying science is bad, or is a conspiracy. I’m not crazy, as stated before God expects us to study His systems on earth so we can learn and enjoy more and more is wonders. Theoretical and Philosophical sciences should not be taught en masse, however. Those soft sciences were the issues and have created hosts of problems over the years.

So what was the point of explaining all of this? I had my daughter homeschooled last year due to my local school system not having a concrete plan for handling the pandemic (virtual or not, what’s the difference etc.) and I used the Abeka Academy brand of homeschooling for kindergarten. I absolutely loved it, it was fantastic to work with them and my daughter loved it too. Fast forward to two nights ago, and after getting some ice cream after her first day of “real school”, my daughter tells me, “Dad, I really like school, but there’s an issue. They don’t talk about God there.”

Unfortunately having a theological, philosophical, and political discussion over the constitution wasn’t in the plan for a school night with a six-year-old, so I brushed it off a bit. That night though I began to think that she needed something to reinforce her faith, and also that would tell her the “why” behind her faith. Our children are being inundated with constant attacks from a secular society that tells them the right thing is what God says is wrong. The obfuscation further persists when these are brought to society as legal acts to the mind of a child (or an adult). While teaching them about the Bible and even creation is all well and good, it never gets them to a point where they can see why someone else isn’t held to the same standard as they are.

Now, we’re getting to the point of the matter. I know as a child and seeing my own child do this, it is extremely frustrating to watch as another child gets to behave or do something that is strictly against what she is being taught. Much like us as Christians we have to grapple with a world that tells us what we believe is wrong on a daily basis by people that are richer, more powerful and frankly more insulated than we are. We sometimes want to look at God and point to the other person and say “BUT THEY’RE ALLOWED TO!”, and that’s where the kicker is. See, on Earth we belong to one of two adoptive parents. We are either the children of the creator or the children of the destroyer. Children of God or Children of the Devil. The Devil is like the parent that praises their children no matter what they do, they make excuses for them, they hide them when they’ve done wrong. God is like a parent that carefully instructs His children unto perfection or as close as possible. He expects us to use everything in order for us to want Him to be proud.

Nowadays what is the more common parent? What do we see? Parents today aren’t taught to discipline their children or to expect anything more from them. We are taught to always take their feelings into consideration no matter how asinine it may be, and to always try to accommodate the child -a child who looks up to us as parents- it’s literally the blind leading the blind.

However, we know what happens when the child inevitably points at the other kid and goes “Why can’t I do that too?”, the next sentence is “BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR.” I guess the point of all this, and it wasn’t really meant to be a moral of the story type post, but more to get you thinking type post, the point is how do we stop our kids from asking the first question in the first place. Now you’re all telling me Good luck Michael I have 3 kids and I still can’t stop them from asking that. Maybe we even ask ourselves that sometimes, but we stop ourselves from voicing it. That’s what I want from our children, I want them to know the “Why” before they even ask why they can’t do it. If they know the “why”, even though something may seem completely unfair, they won’t have to ask the question because they will already know the answer. And that’s how we will raise a generation that can stand firm on the truth.

If you all have any apologetics for kids study guides (Preferably primary ages) or tips and tricks I’d love to hear it. As much as I enjoy writing deep series and philosophical arguments for adults, children baffle me sometimes on their comprehension, so I would rather work on this from another author’s angle.