“Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.” – Martin Luther
Reason: in many ways, the sure path to unbelief. But in other ways, the road to repair.
That’s where I find myself.
Even worse, is to deem my reasoning as, well, reasonable. But is it unreasonable? It all depends. It so happens that spiritual reasoning is quite relative. If I reason on my own accord, leaning on my own limited understanding, with futile attempts at trying to wrap my mortal mind around a boundless God, then, yes. My reasoning is nothing more than a chasing after the wind; a pursuit which will end in confusion, sorrow, isolation and fruitless unbelief.
But then, there’s an invitation from God to “reason”.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18.
You would think there is a small café and a couple of lattes involved in this equation.
The sense is one of, “it doesn’t have to be this way, let’s talk about this”.
It’s interesting because this approach is one many, if not all parents, have employed at one point or another. Our kids get to see every side of us as our discipline is expressed in various “colors”. But after all the chastising, taking away privileges, and soliloquies that our parenting can dish out…our love—though having been expressed in all forms of discipline out of care and concern—seems most exhaustive when it reaches the point of reasoning.
You’ve messed up. This can ruin your life. You’re not seeing that I say all this because I love you.
Come now, let us reason together….it doesn’t have to be this way, can we talk?
Whereas my reasoning is doomed to end in rebellion, Isaiah makes it clear: reasoning with God leads to purity. To reason with God is the privilege of having my skewed perception of Him—which is often times the root of all my questioning—it is to have that perception realigned. It is to see Him for the Holy God He is and to understand that the Holiness He requires of me is not a cumbersome requirement, but a fulfilling command.
“The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.” – C.S. Lewis