Knowing God vs. Knowing Reason

One of the major developments of this era is enlightenment. We have come a long way since the beginning of the movement, but we can see it’s effects in academia and practical living. Nothing has been untouched as far as math, science, politics, and even religion. Everything has an emphasis at some point on knowing and learning. This movement has taught us many things, but it has also given us major misconceptions.

One of the teachers I had in high school was also a Roman Catholic priest. He was teaching on the image of god one day and asked us what was it that made us in the image of God. His opinion was reason and he told us that. As much as I respected him, I disagree with this assessment.

In the old testament the idea of the image of God or any other powerful being was not based on someone inherent ability to reflect God, but on the responsibility to reflect God regardless of any ability. One thing that God is is gracious. The whole plan of salvation and discipleship is based on God’s graces and commands to us. To insert the idea that we reason and that makes us the image of God can lead dangerously into works based grace.

Reason is a good thing. It has helped us to today. Sometimes, though, we can tend to make reason the main go to for value and meaning. Our meaning, however, comes from God and what he has made us to be. Reason is not the main focus; Christ is. Reason has failed us so many times and has led us to self-centered decisions as individuals and as a people. We can’t save ourselves and we can’t become better on our own.

Questions that drive us to the main point: Do you think reason is what makes us great in God’s eyes? Has reason ever failed us? What would life be like if we tried to make our heart more about knowing Christ than knowing information?

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