Christianity and “Autonomous Reason:” Drawing an Important Distinction

Christianity and “Autonomous Reason:” Drawing an Important Distinction.

Can, or should, we utilize “autonomous reason” — that is, reason apart from God’s revelation? I found this very helpful in working that out.

There are simply some things, like logic or our own mental states, we can come to know “on our own” in the local rather than the ultimate sense. If rational autonomy necessarily entails the denial that God gave us our rational abilities, then Christians sin each time we balance our checkbooks, teach a child the difference between a square and a triangle, or report to a family member about how we feel at the moment. But this is thankfully untrue. All humans are rational beings, made in the image of a rational God (Isaiah 1:18). Let us use that rationality to buttress our faith with justification for the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15). – Sarah Geis

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