THE IMPORTANCE OF LOGIC IN CHRISTIANITY
FOR A SOUND DOCTRINAL, SPIRITUAL & MENTAL LIFE
Part 7: Man cannot escape some form of logic/reasonings
Everyone uses logic. To be human is, as Aristotle put it, “to be a rational animal.” While I would certain take issue with calling a human an “animal”—in some respects I would not so insult animals (cf. the senseless slaughter and enjoyment of torturing tens of millions by atheistic, sadistic, communistic, and fascistic "socialists" in the 20th century alone)—Aristotle is absolutely right in saying that man is by nature rational. Man is hardwired for rationality. The question is not whether he uses logic and rationality; rather, it is whether he uses it properly or correctly. Let’s consider three examples of the necessity of logic: Adam, Abraham, and a modern man/woman.
Consider Adam—after his fall and before his redemption. In response to God’s question as to why he ate of the tree, what if Adam said “Lord, there was no tree or fruit, and furthermore You never gave such a command.” Now, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about such a response? He is lying? The very fact that you recognize the statement as a lie is because logically you were using the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction: tree means tree and fruit means fruit, and either God gave the command or He did not. Without logic you would just say OK: I guess there is a tree and not a tree, and God did not say it and yet He said it. God expected fallen Adam to use logic in answering the question. Adam did try to pass the buck to God and Eve, but nonetheless he is making a logical case to God who is expecting a rational explanation. What do you think God would say if Adam decided to go postmodern as per the present Emergent church movement and say something like “true worship and obedience is all about antinomies, contradictions, and mysteries”? What do you think God would have done?
A second illustration is Abraham. Many postmodern “Christians,” who think that piety and spirituality is all about mysteries and experiences–in effect celebrating nonsense–often cite biblical heroes as examples of living by faith and not by logic. They often point to Abraham. However, to obey the Creator of the Universe is not irrational at all. As a matter of fact we are told specifically that Abraham used reason at a critical time of faith: it was his reasonings/logic that enabled him to past the test,
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called." 19 He reasoned [logidzomai, cf. Friberg's lexicon: “to think according to logical rules"] that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type.
Athird illustration is taken from modern man–actually a woman. Some women (as well as men) think that logic is not important. They think it is all about experiences, feelings, and intuition. Logic is just not that important! Let’s see how this notion breaks down in a conversation between a woman (who claimed she was not logical nor needed logic) and her irrational, emotional, antimonic, postmodern husband. Now the only reason I use this illustration is to drive home the point as to the true nature and necessity of logic/reasoning by every person.
Wife: Hi Honey, how was your day at work.
Wife: Did you enjoy your lunch break?
Husband: Yes! I had sex with my secretary.
Wife: What! What did you say?
Husband: I said I enjoyed sex with my secretary on lunch break.
Wife: That is not funny! Stop it!
Husband: I am not joking! I had sex with my secretary on lunch break today.
Wife: What! What are you talking about? Don’t you love me?
Husband: Yes dear, of course I love you. But I love her too!
Wife: You can’t love me and her too! If you loved me you would not . . .
Husband: I love you both! I love contradictions! I love mysteries and antinomies - it is so spiritual not being in a box.
Wife: What about our vows to be faithful to each other–for life?!
Husband: I do not get caught up in logical inferences. Life is bigger than logic. You have to experience life. There is no right and no wrong. Life is a mystery. Your truth is for you and my truth is for me. I am a postmodern man—come of age!!!! I celebrate mysteries and antinomies. As a matter of fact since I do not believe in the logical law of identity or contradiction, I can actually “say” that I really did not have sex with her and that I did have sex with her at the same time. Life is bigger than logic! Celebrate the mysteries of experience! Again, there is no right or wrong about these things – right and wrong is about experience for each person. No one has the corner on truth, let alone what is Right!
Wife: Are you sure there is no right or wrong? Absolutely? Just right or wrong according to each person—and how they feel? Just how they feel? Really FEEL?
Wife: Good! [she pulls out a gun and shoots him dead]
No wife or husband would or should put up with a cheating spouse, and there are always reasons for everything. No one can get away from logic. Logic is buried in every single response to a proposition in the above conversation. Logic is about “what is” and “what that infers about what something else is.” Even the Mr. Irrational Postmodern Man above states that the dastardly deed he did was because he was not bound up by logic. He uses logic and inference to try to escape from logic. It can’t be done! I am always amused when I read those in the postmodern emergent church movement as they give reasons for rejecting logic. Next time someone tells you that logic is not important ask him “why” and just sit back and enjoy the reasons-with a smile if you like. The reasons/logic may not be sound or rational, but they are reasonings/logic nonetheless.