Faith and Reason

I have just  been listening to Scott Hahn and reading a review of his book “Politicizing the Gospel” and have been graciously given a sequel from Jeff Morrow (co-author) “Modern Biblical Criticism.”

The above is only an occasion for me to say what  I have nested within me as a presupposition to anything that can be said along the line of faith and reason, and I use this occasion to say it:

Many years ago, reading a compilation of essays by Joseph Ratzinger I came away with the conviction that without Faith, reason is not reason. And I built on that after reading and studying John Paul II’s  Fides et Ratio (#83).  And concretely in that I found the sentence “In a special way, the person constitutes a privileged locus for the encounter with being, and hence with metaphysical enquiry.” And since metaphysics is understood from Aristotle on to be a study of being in so far as it is, basically deals with everything that is and as such is available to reason.  And so the key to the use of reason was the experience with the person, and the only person I experience as person[1] is myself in action (not merely in reflective thought). This is the ultimate encounter with  reality. It is me hearing the Word of God and taking into myself (“Hearing”) and doing it. By hearing the Word, I become the Word [little by little]: the Ipse Christus, “another Christ.” And isn’t Jesus Christ what we mean by reality. What is Colossians 1, 15-19  “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstbornover all creation. 16 For in him all things were created:things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”  And I become real by becoming Him. And by becoming real, I begin to know reality and this by knowing Him by knowing myself and by knowing myself I know Him. And so, reason, reality, experience of the self (as image of God) experience of God, knowledge of the real all come together in the smallest, insignificant actions of daily secular life. And notice that it is “experience,” not just thinking ideas because the “knowing” takes place by a consciousness that is true] and that occurs when the whole self is engaged in the going out. I take this to be the explanation of Christian faith and reason. 



And the supreme exercise of the acting person is the act of faith which is going out of self to receive the revealing God in the Person of Jesus Christ.


This is the ultimate So, without the act of faith as an act of self-transcendence, I am not able to reason correctly. So I need faith as act of personal self-gift in order to experience being (myself) and so reason about everything else.  In a word, reason comes to life only in the experience of self-transcending faith.

[1] Since oonly I experience using my freedom as determining myself

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