When people over-intellectualize faith and God it doesn’t take long before their discussions go round and round like a cat chasing it’s own tail.  They have lots of fun but they go nowhere.  The Bible may not be considered smart or fashionable anymore but disparaging it and those who take God at His Word has become quite the ‘in’ thing.  People think themselves clever because they can  jumble up  some science and philosophy words in a ponderous sentence that looks impressive.  But when these grand looking ideas are examined for any real meaning they are found lacking.  Fancy talk is empty and arid.  Sophists love fancy talk.

Reason isn’t fancy talk.  Reason speaks to life and living.  It is about real things that have shape, size and weight.  Reason is about real feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate and love.  Reason is about real events like birth, death, betrayal and triumph, Reason goes somewhere meaningful because it arises out of an honest desire to understand as opposed to just impress.  Reason has an edge that cuts away the fat of empty words.  Reason has a point and that point is to come into a better relationship – be it a deeper understanding or connection.  God always reasons.

The Bible is full of examples of God reasoning with humanity.  God reasoned with Cain regarding Cain’s attitude towards his brother; “Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?.If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’” (Genesis 4:6,7)

God reasoned with the people of Judah; “’Come now, and let us reason together’, says the Lord. (Isaiah 1:18) The Lord desired to re-engage the people of Judah in open and honest relationship. He didn’t hold any grudge; ““Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” (v, 18) All can be made well again. His terms are simple; “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (v 19,20)  Reason always points to a choice that must be made.  This is the pattern of reason- it builds up, opens up, deepens and gives those who engage in it a better life – if acted upon.

God always reasons; humanity doesn’t; nor are we always open to reason.  Satan doesn’t reason.  Satan plays on our baser emotions.  The devil plays on our pride and jealousy; “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:1-5) Satan knew if he could get Adam and Eve to ‘over-intellectualize’ what was really a very straight forward situation then he could lead them to their downfall.  It worked!

The Bible tells us that we are not immune to false reasoning when people over-intellectualize; “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3,4)

Sadly you can get people to swallow just about anything today if you throw in some scientific terms and concepts.  We don’t start our fairy tales with ‘once upon a time’ anymore. We use more high sounding words to start our myths with;.words like – ‘science shows . . . ‘ or ‘modern thinking has led to a more evolved position . . . ‘  Sadly a lot of people will swallow any hook baited with those words or words like them.

Reason leads to wisdom; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

Don’t settle for anything less!

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