Faith Versus Reason

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
The very thing by which man proves there must be a God is a proof that he cannot know God. Take this world—there is evidence of skill, there must have been a designer, someone must have made it. So with a watch (the common illustration), someone must have made it. I am not capable of conceiving of such a thing existing without a cause; but if I see it there, I must get a former of it. I am so constituted that I cannot think of such a thing without a cause. This is exactly what it amounts to. God must have wrought—without a cause you cannot think it out. I cannot conceive of anything existing without finally a causing cause. But a cause uncaused is above me! The thing that proves He must be, proves I cannot tell what He is. Logic says, If so-and-so is true, then so-and-so must be; but this does not say that it is, which is a very different thing to my soul. If I say, "must be," that is a mere inference. The moment I get a testimony that it is, how different! I get a divine testimony and set to my seal that God is true. This is faith, divine faith. One thing flows from another, and I cannot help inferring. That is the constitution of man, and he must think according to what he is; he cannot think otherwise.
Intellect never discovered anything in divine things; it may deduce correct conclusions, but it never can go above itself. That is another way of looking at it. If intellect pretends to go above itself, it is an absurdity on the face of it. If it pretends to rise to God, He is not the true God at all, but the mere conclusion of my mind. God can act on me, as physics act on man; but that is not what I am. God has given us receptivity so far as that goes. It is as simple as ABC. Here is God, and if I bring Him in, it closes reasoning; and if I leave Him out, everything is false.
Nine-tenths of our ideas come from relationship, not from intellect—just as a child knows its father. Relationship is never known by reason; the mind is fond of a kind of metaphysical reasoning about this, but it is all folly. The moment relationship is formed, all moral duty flows from it, and from it alone. Duty has nothing to do with intellect. This it is that makes us totally dependent. Man at the outset tried to get out of dependence on God, and really got into dependence on the devil and his own lusts. "By every word of God shall man live" was dependence and obedience, and that was where Christ was; it is the proper place of" every intelligent creature, who ought to be both dependent' and obedient.