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Defending reason Print E-mail
By Remi Brague   
Thursday, 16 July 2009

Now, defending reason is not a strategic ploy, but belongs to the very essence of Christianity. Chesterton's Father Brown, when he is asked how he succeeded in unmasking a fake priest, answers: "he spoke against reason, this is bad theology." Jews and Christians are rationalists. At the Beginning, at the Principle of everything, there was Logos. The first words of the Fourth Gospel echo the first words of Genesis. God is a rationalist, too. This is beautifully expressed by Isaias, who has God say: "For this is the word of the lord,who created the heavens -- he is God! -- who formed the earth and made it; he established it firmly; he did not create it a chaos (tohu), he formed it to be inhabited: "I am the lord, and there is no other. / I have never spoken in secrecy, in some place in the land of darkness; I have never said to the children of Jacob, 'Seek me in the void' (tohu). I, the lord, speak the truth, declare what is right." (Isaiah, 45, 19-20) Little wonder that the human response should be a "sacrifice of the intellect" -- i.e. a sacrifice brought by the intellect -- or a "rational worship (logiké latreia)" (Romans, 12, 1).

 
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