Is there any value to thinking within the Christian faith? Is the increase of depth of heart connection with God at odds with devoting one’s mind and thoughts toward Him? Does knowing things with practical certainty in our minds make faith more obsolete?
I have learned and experienced that depth of faith and the sound operation of logical constructs within the mind walk hand-in-hand. It seems that we mistakenly think that faith is at odds with the facts of the world. This is not so; faith is able to take facts where facts lead and beyond where they are able to go. Facts could tell you that eating fruit is healthy; faith will take the fruit and act upon the knowledge. Facts tell you that crossing a bridge is safe; faith leads you across the bridge to the other side.
The Christian faith is reliant upon the depths of accurate thinking in several ways – three of which I will address here:
1. Facts and thinking provide sound reasons as a foundation for believing. Without the facts being in agreement, faith is baseless and might as well be based on speculative theories about what might’ve happened and what God might be like. But this is not how Christianity operates. Christianity operates out of the facts of who God is and the way He has interacted in the world. It is based on the historical facts which Jesus of Nazareth has lived out. It is based on the fact, in line with the logical conclusion, that God alone has created the universe in which we live.
2. Sound thinking helps us discover our need for faith. Honest reflective thought will lead us into thinking about the gaping hole that lies within our soul. Reflecting upon the shape of this hole, if you will, we should be able to discover that God alone is the satisfaction for such deep desires.
3. Sound thinking, along with the observation of historical fact, will lead us to the discovery of false beliefs. We are able to discern false religions if it can be found that what they claim happened historically did not really happen. We can also find false beliefs by an examination of logic. If the claims of a religion oppose sound foundational logic, the religious belief can be determined to be false. For example, if a worldview – in this case pantheism – claims that God is everything, that God is perfect, and that the world has faults, then we can conclude that such a worldview is logically invalid.
In short, sound thinking, which includes historical fact and the involvement of logic, should direct our minds toward the discovery of the truth of the Christian God and the Christian worldview. Not everybody comes to this conclusion, but it is the direction that the evidence points. And when our minds behold this truth our hearts will follow closely. In that place our faith will be more strongly established, unshakable, and even passionate.