The Problem With The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment elevated reason to the level of faith.  Few people realize today that we are still experiencing products of this era which began nearly 300 years ago, including the birth of the American nation.  Indeed, many of the concepts that we as Americans hold sacred and that are written in the American Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution are products of the age of Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment is a two-edged sword.  On one hand, it has brought to light several critical issues regarding Scripture and our application of Scripture.  In some ways, it has helped us to dig deeper archeologically (no pun intended) and question some of the more traditional ways in which we have interpreted and has shed new light on passages.  Of course, the disovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the mid-20th century has also helped this, but the Enlightenment allowed us to have the tools in our tool box we need to look at Scripture on a deeper level.

However, I think that the other side of the sword is sharper.  By elevating reason above faith, we have somehow denied that the supernatural exists.  This is a travesty, indeed.  Without a God that stands outside of our limited reason, we cannot allow for any of Jesus’ miracles, the incarnation, among other things and most importantly, the resurrection.  Without the resurrection, per Paul in Corinthians, our faith is in vain.  Our faith is reduced to a love ethic with no teeth and a perverted gospel that is not worthy of belief.

My challenge to believers and unbelievers is not to let your reason dictate to you where you place your faith.  It is not that we cannot have, per William Lane Craig, a reasonable faith, but science and reason should never trump our relationship with Christ.


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