Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sir Robert Anderson on Reason and Truth

"[W]hile Divine truth is spiritual, and can only be spiritually discerned, human error is natural, and can be met on its own ground. We cannot “reason” men into the kingdom of God, but by reasoning we can expose errors which prejudice them against it."

- Sir Robert Anderson, The Bible and Modern Criticism, 5th ed. (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1905), p. 27

[HT: Tim McGrew]

3 comments :

RkBall said...

Great quote. Apologists should always be mindful of the transcendent reasoning associated with saving faith, and how faith goes beyond empirical evidences -- for we walk by faith, not by sight, and believe in the thorough goodness and almighty power of God in spite of being daily confronted with the evidences of evil.

Dan Rodger said...

Yeah great quote! Love the last sentence...We cannot “reason” men into the kingdom of God, but by reasoning we can expose errors which prejudice them against it." Good find Brian.

FizProf said...

But reason by itself contains no truths or knowledge, merely the tools by which a consistent philosophy can be inferred from some set of premises. Even then, Goedel's Theorem posits the possibility that reasoning from what seem like obvious premises might lead to unexpected inconsistencies.

In other words, you can only reason with people who already agree with your premises. So if you believe in God already then all reason can do in addition is actually to possibly create inconsistencies and cast doubt.

Of course Goedel came after Sir Robert there...and so Anderson lacked the knowledge of this perplexing problem

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