Friday, December 31, 2010
Irrational Rationalism Apart From Scripture
If you are a reader of this blog, you know that I believe that in these days scientism (a.k.a. the belief in the sufficiency of autonomous human reasoning) has a power over a majority of minds, including many Christian minds, in a number of unhealthy ways.
Reasoning power alone is a wonderful God-given blessing. Christians are called to administer this gift in a number of ways, especially to be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them. God also gives us logical reasons why we should listen to and follow Him throughout the Bible, in order to minister to our minds. He gives us many details in the Bible in order to help us know things truly and sufficiently, though because our minds are tainted by sin, never completely or fully in this life.
That is why I found these quotes from Dr. John Frame to be so wonderfully helpful in explaining some key facets of the problem of rational thinking apart from the certain guidance provided by God in Scripture.
Frame writes in his book, The Doctrine of the Word of God:
"irrationalism (is) the view that there is no ultimate meaning in the universe." (Basically the oxymornoic belief that we can hold to the "rational" in a universe devoid of any overarching meaning, purpose or order.)
"rationalism (is) the view that a godlike knowledge can be obtained from the creation alone." (Basically the oxymoronic belief that we can have true and sufficient rational knowledge through simply observing a creation we are also a part of.)
This last quote is the most revealing: "Of course, Satan and his followers embrace rationalism irrationally, for they have no right to insist that their minds are the ultimate criterion of truth. Similarly they embrace irrationalism rationalistically, assuming the ultimate authority of their own minds... That irrationality permeates the whole fabric of human knowledge. So we can understand how the assumption of intellectual autonomy destroys knowledge." (p.16 - Emphasis mine)
I urge us all to seek true and sufficient knowledge from the only One who truly knows.
Note: J.I. Packer, in his forward of this book, claims that it is the most indispensable book of our day on the nature of Scripture.