Faith & Reason

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info.gif Faith: "Within Christianity, that attitude of trust in God, including beliefs about God and his goodness, that is essential to a right relationship with God. Many theologians regard faith as including various dimensions, including trust, propositional belief and a willingness to act obediently. More loosely, the term is used for any set of religious commitments or even secular commitments, as with the person who has faith in psychoanalysis or Marxism. Also used as a synonym for religion, as in 'the world’s major faiths.'"
info.gif Reason: "The faculty or power that allows humans to think or deliberate, to see the connections between propositions and draw proper inferences. Reason can be taken in a narrow or a broad sense. In the narrow sense reason is often contrasted with sensation and memory as the power to make inferences, and truths that are known by reason are those that are known a priori or purely by reflection. In a broader sense reason refers to the human faculties that make knowledge possible, including memory and sensation."

Evans, C. (2002) Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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    Garrett, Tim

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    Faith and Reason: Friends or Foes?

    "As we examine the relationship of faith and reason for the Christian in this discussion, there are several questions to keep in mind. Is there such a thing as Christian philosophy, or is philosophy primarily opposed to theology? Should believers read literature that is not explicitly religious, or should we only read Christian literature? What about secular music or films? How we view the relationship between faith and reason will reveal itself in how we answer these questions. We will try to shed light on these issues as we examine three distinctive positions that have been prominent throughout church history."
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    Pittard, John

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    Faith, Reason, and the Bridging of Rationalities: Aquinas in conversation with contemporary nonfoundationalism

    "In this essay, I will explore the breach that has developed between the thought of Thomas and his contemporary antifoundationalist critics in their understanding of the apologetic task. Though apologetics will be the specific focus of this paper, the competing views of apologetics are grounded in different theological and philosophical perspectives on faith, reason, and their interrelationship. Thus much of my analysis will be focused on Thomas’s views on faith and reason and the criticism directed at these views by contemporary nonfoundationalist theologians."
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    Plantinga, Alvin

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    A Response To Pope John Paul II's Fides Et Ratio

    "Philosophy is a matter of faith seeking understanding, sure enough: but this need not proceed by trying to offer a proof of the item of faith in question from purely rational premises. Another way to seek understanding is to ascertain the relation of the proposition in question to other items of faith, and to what one knows by way of reason; and still another way to increase understanding is to see what the faith implies or entails with respect to the sorts of questions philosophers ask and answer."
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    Swindal, James

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    Faith and Reason

    "Faith and reason are both sources of authority upon which beliefs can rest. Reason generally is understood as the principles for a methodological inquiry, whether intellectual, moral, aesthetic, or religious. Thus is it not simply the rules of logical inference or the embodied wisdom of a tradition or authority...Faith, on the other hand, involves a stance toward some claim that is not, at least presently, demonstrable by reason. Thus faith is a kind of attitude of trust or assent. As such, it is ordinarily understood to involve an act of will or a commitment on the part of the believer...The key philosophical issue regarding the problem of faith and reason is to work out how the authority of faith and the authority of reason interrelate in the process by which a religious belief is justified or established as true or justified."
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    Wolterstorff, Nicholas

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    A Response To Pope John Paul II's Fides Et Ratio

    "The issuance of Fides et Ratio is an extraordinary event. That a subtle philosophical discourse should be issued by the head of a vast ecclesiastical bureaucracy! We must all behold with awe and astonishment this achievement of the Church of Rome. Those of us who are not members will find a good dose of envy mixed in with our awe and astonishment. Pervading the entire document is the both/and style of rhetoric: as in—above all—both faith and reason. We, in our time and place, are not much drawn to this rhetorical style. We prefer the disjunctive over the conjunctive. The conjunctive style smacks to us of indecision; we prefer the confrontational, attention-getting bite of either/or. But Fides et Ratio is by no means indecisive. Its both/and is full of bite."