Faith and Reason - An Apologetic Approach

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella

The subject of “God” and “Reason” continues to be a cerebral challenge -- with factions that “have a belief in God” (Theists) as an object of faith and reason; and those who vehemently deny such exists (Atheists).

Belief in God, as a form of knowledge, may be found in either a supernatural or natural form -- depending on the source of such knowledge -- the Creator (supernatural or transcendent source) or “things in Creation” (natural source).

As Catholics, our belief in God by a knowledge “graced” by God’s action on our souls (a gift called supernatural Faith -- begun at our Baptism) -- is thus assisted both from “Revelation” which deals with a supernatural dimension, in that, according to “the believer,” it is God Who historically reveals Himself in both the Old and New Testaments; as well as “natural reason” through the examination of the very concept of God, as a perfect being (an Ontological Argument), or a consideration of the existence of the universe (the Cosmological Argument), or consideration of the apparent order of the Universe (the Teleological Argument).

For Atheists, however, logic is also claimed as fundamental in their conclusion against the existence of God; and so for them the phrase “God is dead” is a catchy way to call attention to their God-denying agenda; while for the believers the slogan “God is not dead” is an intuitively justifiable response.

Believers in “God” consider God to be almighty, transcendent -- from Himself (ASEITY) and thus at one and the same time, Creator of the universe, but separate and independent of the universe; while in the ‘universe’ we have an entity that does not explain itself by itself -- its source being from another (ABALEITY). We can instantly see, from the very words themselves, the reasonableness of both the truth of the phrase “God is not dead,” since ASEITY IS NOT ABALEITY, i.e. “FROM SELF IS NOT FROM ANOTHER;” and the falsity of the phrase “GOD IS DEAD” -- the contradiction immediately apparent in the contrasting terms: ASEITY IS ABALEITY, i.e. FROM SELF IS FROM ANOTHER -- clearly opposites!!

Let us now recall the gift of the theological virtue of Faith -- a supernatural power -- enabling us to believe that God revealed Himself (in Genesis) as the Creator of the Universe. “Reason” tells us there would have to be some kind of independent force that brought the Universe into “being”; since it did not have existence of itself until that outside act of Force intervened. The Universe, then, did not come “from self” -- “ASEITY” but “from       another” -- ABALEITY.

Faith and Reason then are not contradictory terms but complementary terms -- each clearly completing the other, since faith without reason can lead to phantasy; while reason without faith leads to hubristic defiance of the reality of Mystery, which is the experience of our finite nature encountering an inkling of the Infinite -- THE ANSWER TO WHICH   REQUIRES MORE THAN OURSELVES.

Tags: Fr. Robert, Clergy Corner
 

Clergy Corner

Read our Clergy Corner blog.


Recent

If Not, Why Not?

Sunday, June 28, 2020
The Gospel this weekend leads us to ask a simple question… “If not, why not?” What do you know in your heart to be absolutely... Read More

The Test of True Loyalty for Humans is Loyalty to God

Sunday, June 21, 2020
Whom shall we be afraid of; God or man? The answer is obvious, but let us be sincere in our examination. Many times we have contradicted our belief... Read More

Walking Together Toward the Promise of New Life

Saturday, June 13, 2020
The Gospel of John presents the discourse on the “bread of life,” held by Jesus in the Synagogue of Capernaum, in which he affirms,... Read More

Let Your Faith Shine Forth

Sunday, June 7, 2020
I want you to think about the readings from the past few weeks. When we get to heaven… what is that that we are going to find? Are we going... Read More

Let the Spirit Work in You!

Sunday, May 31, 2020
In the days before the Pentecost, the apostles were afraid; they were discouraged and disappointed. They locked themselves in. They would have... Read More

The Ascension of the Lord

Saturday, May 23, 2020
“He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” The Mystery of the Ascension is in all the creeds because it... Read More

Let all the earth cry out with joy!

Sunday, May 17, 2020
This is the psalm you will hear this weekend at Mass. Amidst all that is going on, our voices rise as we come together to celebrate, both from home... Read More

What do we keep, and what do we change?

Friday, May 8, 2020
When the restrictions ease up sooner or later, let us continue to listen to our Good Shepherd, and carry in our hearts the precious lessons and... Read More

Listen to His Voice

Sunday, May 3, 2020
Today is the Good Shepherd Sunday. In the Gospel, the Lord speaks of himself as a shepherd whose sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.... Read More

Find Jesus in Everyone You Encounter Today, Virtually or in Person

Sunday, April 26, 2020
Mother Teresa was once asked why she does what she does, and she responded, “I see Jesus in every human being.  I say to myself, this... Read More

Had Christ not Resurrected ...

Sunday, April 19, 2020
Had Christ not resurrected, our suffering would be without meaning; our belief in God would be for nothing; our love would be fruitless; and our... Read More

Easter at Home - Our Sanctuary of Prayer where We Encounter God

Sunday, April 12, 2020
Easter is one of those holidays when folks tend to come home to be with family; to visit mom, dad and grandma. Likewise, Easter is one of those... Read More

The Lenten Desert has become very REAL

Sunday, April 5, 2020
Building on what Fr. Ray beautifully said last week, this Lent is becoming more and more “real.” By this time, we feel like we have... Read More

Let us Focus more on Jesus

Sunday, March 29, 2020
All of a sudden, life has changed. The community quarantine has made us all slow down, except for the brave front liners out there who have to work... Read More

What do I do with blessed things?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
As many of you know there are many devotions and actions of the Church that have developed over time and that now are regulated by rules from a... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!