Concrete Soup and 2 x 4 Salad

And a Side of Ranch, Please

Faith AND Reason
I grow testy when folks claim logic, reason, and rationality as the exclusive turf of atheists. Frankly, it offends me, particularly since the assertion is often tucked into one of those “since everyone knows” feints. It carries a whiff, if not the outright stench, of alleged superior intellect.
I’m offended because lots of smart people love God. Lots of highly-educated people love God. (I have met plenty of ignorant atheists, too, but let’s not go there.
I am here today to tell you: I am a scientist*. And I love God.
Key Point One: I earned my degrees at respected research universities (rather than, say, buying them online).
Key Point Two: I studied a social science (as opposed to, say, art history–a fine courses of study in its own right, but not a science).
So here’s the thing: logic, science, and rationalism pertain to the natural world. Scientific inquiry (or at least the capacity for it) is a gift from God that we use to understand the world He created. All the laws of nature pertain to that natural realm.

God, of course, is supernatural. So when someone tells me, for example, that it is “impossible” that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, or “it couldn’t have happened” that the Red Sea parted for Moses and the Israelites, I smile. God is not bound by the laws of nature; He wrote them. Whether an action or event is logical or “scientific” doesn’t apply. The very essence of a miracle is this:

An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.

It makes as much sense to judge God’s works by the measure of whether they conform to natural law as it does to as evaluate the quality of building materials by their nutritional content. 

In fact, I believe the Christian biologist, the Christian geologistthe Christian mathemeticianthe scientist (of any particular discipline) who is also a Christian–might be the more thorough investigator. Here’s why: 
So far as I know, you can’t prove a negative. Therefore, it logically follows that one cannot prove that God does not exist or that God no longer exists. So, the scientist who refuses to recognize that God created the world (or at least could have created the world)–and left His fingerprints all over it in the process–rejects, a priori, one crucial source of explanation, of information, of understanding. And that is the scientist’s goal, isn’t it? To advance our understanding?

If you wanted to understand The Old Guitarist, you would study Picasso, right? After all, he created it. So if you want to understand our world, well … you study planet Earth and the One who created it.

This, my friends, is logic.

Next time you hear someone complaining that it isn’t “rational” or “logical” to keep faith in God, grant a little grace. Your poor interlocutor, as we have seen, is trapped in a logical error.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever!
Psalm 111:10 (ESV)

[*For the sake of this argument, here are my academic credentials: 

B.A., University of California, San Diego Summa cum Laude with high honors in anthropology; minor in literature, writing emphasis

M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, anthropology

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, anthropology. Major support from a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a competitive, merit-based award that ” …recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.”]