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Christianity is said to be a lifestyle and it's beyond a mere religion. (rev Chris oyakilome) Evey religion can as well hold that claim because religion is a set of belief and practices. Given that certain faith holds their beliefs to be true and sacrosanct how does this interface insight with rational thinking.

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There are multiple answers to this question, which is to say, that different Christians have answered it very differently over the years. In the United Methodist Church tradition, for instance, reason is considered to be one of four legitimate sources of doctrine and theology (also including scripture, tradition, and Christian experience). Reason was also significant in pre-Reformation church history. It plays a central role, for instance, in the works of St. Augustine (an African neo-Platonist widely considered to be the first great Christian theologian after the apostolic era) and St. Thomas Aquinas (a massively influential Medieval theologian). On the other hand, it is also indisputably true that reason is, at the least, devalued or treated with suspicion in many modern Christian churches.

It's also a bit unclear what you mean in the headline question when you reference "revelation." Are you speaking about a direct, personal communication from God? If so, an orthodox theologian, such as Aquinas, would probably say that reason could never conflict with such a revelation. Conversely, a Christian existentialist, like Kierkegaard, would say that in such a case, revelation would clearly trump reason.

Conversely, if you're talking about received wisdom, you'll need to put some boundary conditions around it. The Bible itself says that not everyone who claims to be speaking God's truth really is. So just because some pastor claims something is a revelation, doesn't mean we have to accept it as one, if it conflicts with reason. It makes more sense to limit it to generally accepted revelation, which is typically Scripture (the Bible). In that regard, there is a wide range of Christian opinions about how literal and how unambiguous and how definitive the Bible should be considered, and how much any one given interpretation should count against the dictates of reason.

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  • Your submissions are quite instructive. It is however with the generally accepted revelation which is the Bible that certain reason conflict. Given that Christianity is a religion hinged on faith, it defies certain rational logic like the virgin birth. Moreover non practitioner of the Christian faith question the rationality of the triune God. All of this and many more volly of questions hauled at a Christian puts him at conflict. The multiplicity of different Christian opinion on an issues also creates a vacuum as to having a unified undertansding of bible interpretations. – FAZE MISSLE FAZE MISSLE Feb 10 at 10:56
  • You may want to write a new, more specific question (please don't just edit this one to change the question, that is discouraged after answers have already been provided). Perhaps "How do Christians resolve conflicts between rational logic and the miracles depicted in the Bible?" You also might consider asking it instead on the Christianity stack exchange, christianity.stackexchange.com . – Chris Sunami supports Monica Feb 10 at 15:05
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Christianity is said to be a lifestyle and it's beyond a mere religion. (rev Chris oyakilome) Every religion can as well hold that claim because religion is a set of belief and practices.

This is not quite correct. All religions promote a set of practices but not all promote a set of beliefs. In some cases the practices require abandoning beliefs. It's a small quibble. What you say applies to the monotheistic traditions.

Given that certain faith holds their beliefs to be true and sacrosanct how does this interface insight with rational thinking.

I'm not sure it has anything much to do with rational thinking. To hold a belief sacrosanct but not know it is true might be a useful strategy for social cohesion or personal consolation but it is the abandonment of philosophy for speculation and dogmatism.

This is not a comment on Christianity but on the commonplace form of it. It is possible to make a rational case for Christian teachings but not for dogmatic beliefs and sacrosanct speculations.

EDIT: I just realised I didn't answer the question in the title. It's not asked in the actual question. I would deny the possibility of reason conflicting with revelation.

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  • @pererj. Thanks for your insightful contribution. The questions may not have been structure in a way to actually gain the form of answers I require. However what's its intended to pursue is the notion that the Bible is the Revelation. In the absence of restrain and dogma, reason would certainly conflict with revelation – FAZE MISSLE FAZE MISSLE Jan 8 at 10:28
  • @FAZEMISSLEFAZEMISSLE - It would be interesting to know where you think the Bible conflicts with reason and have an example of where the conflict is with a purported revelation. Usually such conflicts are caused by interpretations, not the words as written, but perhaps there are some real conflicts. . . – user20253 Jan 8 at 11:34
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Setting aside the source — Chris Oyakilome is in that questionable class of mega-church leaders, and I am uncomfortable with that Protestant push towards papistry (at least the catholic Pope is elected, not self-appointed) — there is a large grain of truth is the quip. Every lifestyle is knowingly or unknowingly based on philosophy of some sort. Even seemingly innocuous things like brushing your teeth and coming your hair reflect ideologies about hygiene and social representation. At heart, every religion and every philosophy and every systematic worldview aims to create a stable, consistent, interrelation philosophical structure that people can apply throughout their daily lives. So yes, every religion goes beyond religion, because every religion implies the effort to apply a philosophy to life.

The fact that different groups have different foundational philosophies is not a bar to rational thought. It is the nature of humanity that we want our worlds to be rational, and we use reason within our worldviews to make that happen. That causes some conflicts where different philosophies intersect, but as long as people are willing, those conflicts are resolvable through reason. We only start running into real trouble when people begin to sacrifice that innate urge towards rationality for the sake of political domination. That happens all too frequently, obviously, but it is not an intrinsic part of the process.

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  • +1 "We only start running into real trouble when people begin to sacrifice that innate urge towards rationality for the sake of political domination." Well said. – user20253 Jan 8 at 11:35

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