Inspired by Luke 1:1-4
“Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed.” Luke 1:1-4 (NRSV)
In the ongoing debates between the secular and the religious, the argument often seems to be presented as a false choice between having faith and employing one’s intellect. Some believe that in order to embrace religion and accept religious truths, one must abandon all logic and reasoning, and simply live by faith. At the other extreme, some believe that faith cannot survive in an environment that acknowledges the validity of discoveries made by logic and scientific exploration.
But one need not choose between faith and reason.
The author of Luke’s gospel was most likely a Gentile who attended a church that had been evangelized by the apostle Paul. The importance of faith was not overlooked in his community. Yet despite the fact that he already had faith, Luke still studied the ‘orderly account of events’ that many had already set down, and endeavored to investigate the matter himself in a very rational and systematic manner. Ultimately he wrote an orderly account himself, for the express purpose that Theopholilus (literally ‘God-lover’) might know the truth concerning his faith.
Luke employed intellect in the service of faith. The two were complimentary. Only by fully understanding (an intellectual pursuit) the events that had occurred could his faith be strengthened.
People of faith need not fear scientific reasoning. Faith and intellect are not only capable of complimenting each other, they’re specifically designed to do so. After all, the Lord our God gave us both.
Let us pray. Architect of all creation, you designed us to be rational beings who serve you in faith. Grant us the ability to hold both in tension, that we may be open to discovering your greatness in ways we’ve yet to imagine. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.