It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith.
Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert
that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. – G. K. Chesterton
Can you PROVE, in a non-circular way,
that there is truth? that reason works? No?
Oh, you have FAITH. I see. – Anonymous
Faith is belief in something for which there is evidence but no proof.
Faith is required for belief in most scientific ideas, as well as in religious doctrines. Faith is irrelevant for believing proven facts, like the
existence of cats or mathematical truths.
– Sy Garte
Life will always take you with a combination of faith and reason.
God has put enough in this world to make faith in Him a most
reasonable thing; He has left enough out to make it impossible
to live by sheer reason alone. – Ravi Zacharias
Belief in God is an act of faith.
But so is believing our existence
is simply the result of chance. – Eric Metaxas
The greatest act of faith takes place when a man
finally decides that he is not God. – Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Faith is taking the first step even when
you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Faith has to do with marrying Invisible and Visible. When we engage in an act of faith we give up control, we give up sensory (sight, hearing, etc.) confirmation of reality; we give up insisting on head-knowledge as our primary means of orientation in life. The positive way to say this is that when we engage in an act of faith we choose to deal with a living God whom we trust to know what he is doing… We choose to no longer operate strictly on the basis of hard-earned knowledge, glorious as it is, but over a lifetime to embrace the mystery that “must dazzle gradually/Or every man go blind…”
The introduction of the word “faith” into our language produces a radical and total reorientation from a flat-earth existence, plotted along the monotonous lines of a suburban subdivision, to a multidimensioned “on earth as it is in heaven,” in which God’s presence is the dominant and defining reality with whom we have to do.
The German mathematician Professor Hans Rohrbach tells of the following conversation between Cardinal Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich, and Professor Albert Einstein.
“I respect religion, but believe in mathematics;” said Einstein, “doubtless for your Eminence the reverse is true.”
“You are mistaken;” replied Faulhaber, “religion and mathematics are for me only different ways of expressing the same Divine exactness.”
Einstein was astonished. “But what if one day mathematical research should show that certain verdicts of science contradict those of religion?”
“I have such a high regard for mathematics,” replied Faulhaber, “that in such a case you, Professor, would be under the obligation to never stop looking for the error in calculation.”
…Experience shows that faith in God’s Word has nothing at all to fear from serious thought. It would be useless to reject faith for the sake of natural science, or to abandon thought for the sake of faith. Faith does not need to prune the assertions of science nor does science need to blend the confessions of faith into shape. A sacrifice of one’s reason is not demanded. On the contrary, it is just the Bible which sees both together: creation and Creator, nature and revelation, the visible and the invisible…
It is necessary to look at both together and to see the harmony of both Divine revelations, the book of nature and the book of the written word.
Contrary to popular belief, Christians crucial to science are almost too many to number. Indeed, it is fair to say that the majority of the key branches of science were founded by devout Christians.
According to statistics compiled in 100 Years of Nobel Prizes, published in 2003, between 1901 and 2000, a total of 654 Nobel Laureates belonged to 28 different religions. Most (65.4%) have identified Christianity in its various forms as their religious preference. Overall, Christians have won a total of 78.3% of all the Nobel Prizes in Peace, 72.5% in Chemistry, 65.3% in Physics, 62% in Medicine, 54% in Economics and 49.5% of all Literature awards. According to U.N. statistics, in the last three centuries, among 300 outstanding scientists in the world, 242 believe in God.
The thinness of the new atheism is evident in its approach to our civilization, which until recently was religious to its core. To regret religion is, in fact, to regret our civilization and its monuments, its achievements, and its legacy. And in my own view, the absence of religious faith, provided that such faith is not murderously intolerant, can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality. If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it (for many people, at any rate) of reasons for gratitude, and a sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency. For what can soon, and all too easily, replace gratitude is a sense of entitlement. Without gratitude, it is hard to appreciate, or be satisfied with, what you have: and life will become an existential shopping spree that no product satisfies.
To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.