Is God logical?
Logic is the practice of structured thinking in order to align thoughts with reality. The laws of logic are the undergirding rules that must be followed in order to practice logical thinking. Using logic means that one is putting the truth of reality into some quantifiable, able to be recalled, form in the mind. Some things can be logical without being true. But something cannot be true without also being logical.
Does this sound too stringent – far-fetched for the Christian to accept? Christians sometimes struggle with the absolute ideals of logic because they have seen the shortcomings of trying to line got up with their own logic. However, when I refer to logic I am referring to something that is outside of the human mind at its most fundamental stage. We only catch glimpses of the totality of what logic encompasses. A logical process can take place in our mind, but it will always be limited as our brain is limited. If logic is a cognitive process – that is a process in the mind – then the totality of logic must have its origins in some super-mind.
Some might object, “Yeah, but God often does what is not logical to us.” To this I respond, who then do we consider to be the standard of logic? If God’s logic contradicts our own, then is God the one that has the fault in logic? Impossible! If God’s mind is limitless, if he is all knowing, and if he knows the end from the beginning, then the decisions that he makes, while contradictory to our very limited perspective, are done perfectly. when God appears to go against logic, He is really only transcending our limited perspective of what is reasonable.
Now, back to the mind of God: If logic requires a mind, and limited mind produces limited logic, then a perfect mind will produce perfect logic. It’s basically an axiom of philosophy that the laws of logic are transcendent in nature. This means that they are not dependent on some earthly system for their existence. Mankind did not create logic; mankind discovered logic. As mankind discovered the objective reality of the outside world, mankind also discovered the reality of objective cognitive reality.
Material reality needed a creator who himself was immaterial – he cannot be made of the same substance that he originally created. What sort of creator must this be to form the cognitive reality – the reality of things like logic and mathematical absolutes? Unlike the material creation, he need not be opposite of the creative thing. This is because material reality is by nature time-bound and limited. But things of the cognitive reality can be as enduring as of the mind that gave rise to them. In other words, cognitive realities like logic and rules of mathematics can exist eternally within the mind of God. In fact, this is the best explanation of their objective nature.
This all sounds pretty abstract so far. In what way can we apply these things? We can be confident that the discovery of cognitive reality is also a discovery of something about the mind of God. When we do physical science, we are discovering something about the material outworking from the hand of God. We celebrate our Creator through the discovery of the physical things that He has brilliantly made. Likewise with the discovery of rationality, logic, mathematics, and other conclusions of the mind, we discover things about the mind of God.
There is no thought that we could think that hasn’t already entered into the mind of God. When we consider that his mind operates perfectly through such a conglomerate of facts and reason, we take greater confidence in our current circumstance. When we weigh our limited logic against God’s perfect logic, we humbly realize that our perspective may not actually be the best perspective. When we couple his goodness with the operations of a perfect mind, we humbly realize that everything within our will ought to be placed in the hands of his will.
Throughout this process of radical trust, we can also faithfully use our minds. He has blessed us with the ability to reason and think logically in order to think the thoughts after Him. By His spirit He can actually open up our capacity to practice this. By following His nature we honor Him. Logic is not anti-God or anti-spiritual; it can keep us close to his mind – which emanates from his heart.