It is important for us to know exactly what is the definition of Faith to explore this topic further.
Richard Dawkins (one of the “New Atheists”) claims that ‘Faith is belief without evidence and reason’.
With this type of definition guiding us, it is logical to end up at a place where Faith and Reason are locked in competition with one another. Yet, this is not the case, and this is certainly not the definition of faith. Instead we have to see it as Faith AND Reason (Logic).
What is Faith? Faith is believing in what is true.
Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Faith has two key elements:
- Being convinced of the truth, being certain of reality, having evidence of unseen things, and;
- Believing, hoping in, embracing, seizing in truth.
In light of this, faith and believing are not the same thing. Faith involves belief but not all belief is rightly called faith. You can believe that this that or that claim is true – but true faith is always “faith in”, and is centred in the ultimate truth of the Trinity. It is personal and revelatory.
What is Reason? The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgements logically.
Reason is a gift from God (as is faith). It is something that is used to think, to understand, and to form judgements. It is in integral part of our human nature but it is imperfect, along with all other faculties that we possess that participated in the fall. In other words, like all aspects of humanity, it is imperfect apart from God. So is our faith, in fact.
We need both Faith AND Reason to find truth. St Pope John Paul II in 1998 papal encyclical ‘Fides et Ratio’ introduction says ‘Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth – in a word, to know himself – so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.’
In our everyday life, we as Catholic Christian should not be afraid of science or finding the truth. In fact, God wants to us to keep seeking for the truth. Do not be stagnant on our faith or have a ‘blind faith’. Yes, we may not be able to find the perfection of truth because we will never know the whole truth of the Omnipotence God. There is always a place where there is a “mystery” of Faith. Hope that one day when we finally meet face to face with our Lord, we can find finally find and understand the whole truth. God bless.
1 Corinthians 13:8-13
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
(Karl Brown, summarised by David Lukito)