Faith and Reason: Is There a Sharp Divide? (Part 4)
After the spread of Christianity, many thinkers debated on how God could be known. Exactly, how does man make contact with God? Is He known solely through faith or can man’s rationality lead us to knowledge of God?
Augustine, one of the most important and influential Christian thinkers in history, believed that faith was instrumental in finding truth. Only by first believing can one ever start to truly understand God and his creation. Both he and Anselm of Canterbury, (who though born 600 years after Augustine, was very much influenced by his thought), held that it is faith in God that makes understanding possible. Once illuminated by faith, reason can now correct misunderstandings, such as misinterpretations of scripture. We need Scripture to guide our reasoning, because man is inclined to rebel and deny his Creator. This inclination comes from sin. And sin affects every aspect of our reasoning. The ethical is set against the metaphysical. By “metaphysical” I mean ultimate reality. By rebelling and refusing to submit to the God of Scripture, we do not see the world and ourselves as we truly are: created by God.