Long title, but states what I want to comment on today. Really, this is a mental continuation of my most recent blog as I have been thinking more and more on the issue. Logic can be sound – that is principles following upon the previous to lead to a conclusion – but if the original premise is false then the conclusion reached will also be false. Sound logic can yield an incorrect conclusion.
The Bible is logical. God is a God of order and reason. God acts with purpose and therefore never acts arbitrarily. God is logical. God makes sense. God is not the author of confusion (1Cor. 14:33). Based on this, God tells us to do everything decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). We, on the other hand, make mistakes and sometimes God convinces us into making us illogical.
Let me explain. We can start with a point and follow it down the logical tracks until we reach the end and then jump to the other side. I have seen this many times. The interesting thing is the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit of God often causes the jump. As imperfect beings with imperfect understanding we often fail to come to the proper understanding of a verse or passage. If, in our faulty logic, we start from a faulty premise we should arrive at a faulty conclusion. However, what often happens with a true believer is that even though their logic approaches as near the conclusion as one might assume possible, the end result is the believer still states the correct belief as fact that is opposed to their logical strand.
[The caveat is that these beliefs they jump to are foundational to the Christian faith. I haven’t seen anyone argue for/against playing cards and yet suddenly state the opposite. I have seen people dogmatically argue for the infallibility of the Bible and the next breadth deny it. The one was the statement of their belief from God as a regenerated saint, and the second was the logic and curriculum that was in front of them. I’ve seen people affirm the necessity of the virgin birth only to deny it in the midst of heated debate following a logical trail too far. The person really did believe the necessity of the virgin birth, but in the midst of argument logically stated against it.]
I spoke with a catholic college student for about 30 minutes yesterday. Her stance eventually came down to the fact that she did not believe Sola Scriptura. She even stated those very words. She said that the Catholic church does not teach that. It cannot because it believes that tradition, as defined by and passed down by the Catholic church, is on par with Scripture. At that level, she was putting her trust in a bunch of men to tell her what God really said. She had limited herself based on some people’s claim (that the pope inherited from Peter). But, she isn’t alone.
Many people limit themselves based on the claim of another. Who is to be trusted? I posited to her a scenario where two groups of geniuses sat in rooms side by side and presented opposite conclusions. Who was to be believed? What margin of error are we willing to accept when we are dealing with the eternal never changing destiny of our souls?
The miraculous thing is that even those of us who on occasion choose the room that has our logical trail in it, when we get to the end the Holy Spirit has already impressed upon our hearts the answer being in the other room. Even though we logically have committed a fallacy, and do have an incorrect belief for our premise, when it comes to the foundational level of who God is and what He has done, believers are on the same page. I think it is an awesome thing.
[This just occurred to me, but it is also something to consider when dealing with the doctrine of separation. We need to be careful who we separate from. God said people will know us from our love for the brethren. Certainly there is a biblical doctrine of separation. But one thing to consider is where they are off from the truth. If you are separating from someone, is it because they are off down some logical trail that would eventually lead them to being off on something that matters? Or are they really disbelieving something that matters? There is a drastic difference in how the Bible says we should handle those matters. I could imagine a logical train following from eating meat sacrificed to idols. That wasn’t something worth dividing the church over. That was something to show grace and give of a little liberty on. No one was giving ground on whether Christ was God though. Separate there.]
The Holy Spirit convinces the saints of the truth of God, apart and separate from logic. God is logical, but it is not logic that compels us. God is reasonable, but in the end it is the confidence the Holy Spirit imparts to our hearts that causes us to believe. We do not believe because logic teaches us. We believe because God teaches us. Logic is not what teaches us. Scripture guides us. We use our sanctified mind to follow the reasoning of God, but never apart from Scripture. Scripture must be first, and only. Sola Scriptura is again our foundation.