GOD INTRODUCES UNDERSTANDING, also referred to as intellect, as “the most noble aspect of the soul.” For God, understanding includes rationality but is more than that. Spiritual understanding is not reason alone but reason coupled with faith.
God uses the eye as an analaogy to explain the role of understanding. We all know what our eyes do. They perceive images. Just as a camera needs a flash to be of any use in the dark, we need light in order to see. For both sight and understanding, we use the term perceive.
Our eyes perceive the physical world, and our souls perceive the spiritual world. But the intellect, like the eye, does not produce its own light. It requires an external light source. The intellect is the eye of the soul, but it cannot see without the light of faith.
Reason alone cannot lead us to faith; rather, reason with faith leads us to spiritual understanding.
From pages 75 of Deeply Rooted: Knowing Self, Growing in God by Christopher Maricle. Copyright © 2016 by Christopher Maricle. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
How would you describe the relationship between reason and faith? Share your thoughts.
Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11, NRSV
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This week we remember: Anselm
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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