Some problems with rationalism

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Born_in_Crewe, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Born_in_Crewe

    Born_in_Crewe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have started to write a brief essay outlining some of the problems with rationalism and these are my main points so far.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    One of the problems I think there is in Western Christianity, is that defenders of the faith focus solely on doing just that but neglect to attack (in the intellectual sense) the beliefs of the atheists.

    For example, and this is perhaps my main point, they say you cannot prove God but if you remove God from the equation, you also cannot prove there is a point to life. This leads to the problem of whether it is rational to go on living a pointless life, especially when you die anyway?

    Most of them believe in morality, that there are some things which are ''good'' and some which are ''bad'', but they don't believe in a transcendental creator of that morality but still believe in transcendental morality that applies to all humans. This is illogical for, if there is no ultimate standard of morality, then it becomes one person's opinion versus another person's opinion. As one of my acquaintances put it, ''They behave better than they believe''.

    People will make the argument that what is helpful is ''good'' and what is harmful is ''bad'', but what if the person has done something which deserves punishment and hurting them is helpful to me?

    The problem with moral relativism is that it can itself become fundamentalism, i.e. if you say anything goes (up to a certain point) then that itself is setting a moral standard by drawing a line.

    If nothing is a sin, then saying something is a sin, is itself not sinful because there is no such thing as sin.
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    The main point is, you cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. You must work backwords. For instance, start with the life, death, burial and disappearance of Jesus. If all these things are true, then we have a true starting point. In faith we can go back to creation and insert God rather than nothing into something.

    If you are writing on this topic, I strongly recommend reading, Who Moved the Stone, by Frank Morrison and published by Zondervan in paperback. (1930, but I understand it is still published.)

    Karl Barth came out of German rationalism, and he was the beginning of a form of evangelicalism in our era. I issue caution on his theology, but everyone must take a first step.

    Cheers, and all the best,

    Jim
     
  3. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jim, why "disappearance" instead of "resurrection"?
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,968
    Likes Received:
    128
    Ah, never mind, I found him! He is risen.

    To Crew... are you trying to make a rational argument against rationalism?

    Rob
     
  5. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    SBC, I use that term because rationalists will speak of disappearance rather than resurrection. We use resurrection because we believe the Bible to be true and the resurrection is revealed to us through the witness of the Bible.

    The rationalist does not accept the Bible as de facto true.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. SBCPreacher

    SBCPreacher
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Jim. That makes sense.
     
  7. Born_in_Crewe

    Born_in_Crewe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I suppose that's one way of putting it.
     
  8. Born_in_Crewe

    Born_in_Crewe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Jim, I will try and get hold of ''Who moved the stone'' and try to find a book about Karl Barth.
     
  9. RAdam

    RAdam
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Paul, when speaking to Greek philosophers, said God "raised him from the dead." I see no reason to speak of disappearance, but rather to speak in the clearest of terms that Jesus was resurrected by the awesome power of God.
     
  10. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,837
    Likes Received:
    3
    I don't think anyone ever came to Christ through a rationalistic argument.

    While we should have good rational reasons for why we do and believe certain things, coming to Christ is ultimately an act of faith and not an act of reason.

    I think when we understand that, we can know how to effectively approach those who struggle with Christianity because of rationalistic arguments. Present good rational arguments with the recognition that ultimately, it is an act of faith. Give them reasons for believing other than rationalistic arguments. Give them a way to open their hearts to God and not just their minds.
     
  11. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,894
    Likes Received:
    27
    Coming to Jesus is an act of God.

    I think an essay that rationally examines rationalism is a wonderful idea. Take your time with it and do thorough research. Understand what rationalism is and then lay out your argument why it is not rational, logical, et.

    God may use an essay like that as the means to bring someone to Jesus. No amount of effort spent, is effort wasted in seeking to preach the Gospel to lost sinners.
     
  12. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Born_in_Crewe

    I might also recommend most anything by William Lane Craig, one of the most prolific writers and thinkers within the domain of apologetics and christian philosophy today. A good beginning is "On Guard", his "primer" work on apologetics.
     
  13. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    BTW, I find nothing inherently wrong with rational thought, as I am compelled to believe that it is a component of the "imago dei" granted to us creatures by the creator.
     
  14. Born_in_Crewe

    Born_in_Crewe
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some good, encouraging replies here.
     
  15. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    >I don't think anyone ever came to Christ through a rationalistic argument.

    Agree! As John 3 teaches the Holy Spirit regenerates whom she chooses and the choice doesn't appear rational.
     
  16. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    Books by Karl Barth:

    # Dogmatics in Outline
    # The Epistle to the Romans
    # Evangelical Theology
    # The Humanity of God
    # Word of God and the Word of Man
    # Doctrine of the Word of God: Prolegomena to Church Dogmatics
    # The Doctrine of Reconciliation
    # Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century: Its Background and History
    # Church Dogmatics
    # Prayer
    # The Doctrine of the Word of God
    # God Here and Now
    # The Christian Life
    # The Doctrine of Creation
    # The Theology of John Calvin
    # Epistle to the Philippians
    # Doctrine of Reconciliation: Jesus Christ the Servant As Lord
    # Call to Discipleship (Facets)
    # Deliverance to the Captivity
    # Credo
    # Anselm, Fides Quaerens Intellectum: Anselm's Proof of the Existence of God
    # Homiletics
    # The Gottingen Dogmatics: Instruction in the Christian Religion
    # Community, state, and church; three essays
    # Doctrine of Reconciliation: Jesus Christ the True Witness
    # The theology of Schleiermacher: Lectures at Gottingen,
     
  17. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,609
    Likes Received:
    157
    Have you read how C.S. Lewis came to know the Lord? Read his Surprised By Joy. You will have to decided for yourself if this was salvation via a rational argument or not. It is subjective.
     
  18. targus

    targus
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8,459
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bill, are you disappointed that this didn't get the responses that you were hoping for? :smilewinkgrin:
     

Share This Page

Loading...