Faith and Reason

At Conversion Diary, Jen, a former atheist, has a great post (re-post, actually) entitled “How I researched my way into Christianity.” In it, she tells the story of how her journey to Christianity began with a methodical analysis of the tenets of world religion.

Stuff like this is like a cool drink of water to me. Heck, one of the main reasons I started this blog was to have an outlet for discussing Christian topics without the overwrought emotionalism that runs through American Christianity like bleached blond cocktail waitresses through Tiger Woods’ private jet. (Check the time; I made it all the way to now without putting a Tiger joke on the blog.)

Most conversion stories start (and end, for that matter) with inexplicable revelations, indescribable feelings, and supernatural transformations.  It’s so commonly accepted that people think they can’t know God until a shaft of light comes through the stained glass and smacks them in the face like Jake Blues. As everyone knows, this only happens when James Brown is preaching.  And the whole “finding Jesus is just like falling in love” theology sells God terribly short.  Reason and logic are good things; they are blessings from God.  You don’t have to abandon them to find Him.

Please know that I’m not saying that emotional connections to God are bad or frivolous. I think Jen says it well:

It’s worth noting, though, that this is really the least important part of my conversion.
The only result of all this research was that it ruled out the notion that faith and reason are incompatible. Once that was cleared up, my conversion really began. And what I found is this: God is not something you prove; he is Someone you come to know. To know God is to know love. And love is not something you find in a book.

God is big enough to meet you where you are.  Some people are highly emotional; some people, like yours truly, are not.  It’s my hope that people who are turned off by emotional displays don’t look at the modern Christian church and decide that it’s not for them.  Trust me, we have thousands of years worth of Christian thought and philosophy, and it holds up.  Even if you’re so logical you think Mr. Spock is a weepy ninny, I have the religion for you.

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