Christianity : A Delicate Delineation Between Faith And Reason

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Christianity treads a delicate delineation between faith and reason. At times, the two seem mutually exclusive. During the early stages of Christianity, church fathers argued about the roles of Athens and Jerusalem in Christianity. Some, like Tertullian, insisted Christianity consisted solely of Jerusalem, or faith alone. Others, like St. Augustine and Clement of Alexandria, argued that all truth stems from the character of God, and is thus viable to the Christian. They united Athens and Jerusalem, reason and faith. The interplay of faith and reason shines brightest through the work of Thomas Aquinas, who, like Augustine, believed faith and reason play an intertwined role in revealing truth. Aquinas’ understanding of the roles of faith and reason can be likened to a house. Reason provides the foundation. This foundation draws heavily from the Greek philosophers. Without special revelation from God, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle could not comprehend the fullness of wisdom only Christ provides. However, by observing general revelation, they reasoned their way to many universal truths such as the existence of a perfection outside of mankind–evidenced by Plato’s world of the forms–the benefits of the virtuous life–Socrates’ insistence that good men can never truly be harmed–and the distinction man holds from the animals–Aristotle’s recognition of the importance of logos. This use of reason compliments the teachings of Paul in Romans. He reminds the believers in Rome, “…since

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