Against Reason - Sort Of

February 4, 2013

Excerpt from 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

"We speak God's wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.  None of the rulers of this age understood this….these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God."

Quinn G. Caldwell

Is there anybody else out there who's tired of a reasonable faith?  Who's exhausted herself trying to explain the miracles in the Bible rationally?  Of saying, "Oh, I don't believe in that" to every single element of our faith that wouldn't stand up to the peer-review standards of a scientific journal?  Anybody else who's tired of trying to reassure people that he's not crazy or stupid just because he believes in beautiful impossibilities?

Sometimes I feel like we - I - have spent so much time trying to not be like those other Christians (you know: the superstitious ones, the unreasonable ones, the ones who don't have brains as awesomely powerful as mine) that we're in danger of reducing God to the size of our own intellect.  Don't get me wrong: our intellect, especially collectively, is prodigious and should be brought fully to bear on our faith.  It's just that intellect isn't quite enough.  Intellect isn't what makes me cry for no reason sometimes while singing a hymn.  Rationality isn't what made me believe that someone who died two thousand years ago came back to life - and oh, by the way, is God.  And I sure didn't reason my way into believing that white-bread croutons and shot glasses of grape juice have salvific power.  And yet, all of those things are true enough that I'm willing to bend my life around them.

Is there anybody else out there who's become convinced that the beautiful and impossible, the powerful and unprovable, the ineffable and untestable in our faith, far from being embarrassments, are actually the most important things about it?

Prayer

God, grant that I might always bring my brain with me to church.  But don't let me forget my heart, either.  Amen.

About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Pastor and Teacher at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, in Syracuse, New York, and co-editor, with Curtis J. Preston, of the Unofficial Handbook of the United Church of Christ, published by The Pilgrim Press.

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