top of page

Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Faith and Reason

“Faith is critical if we are not to remain earthbound. Divine matters cannot be comprehended with the mind, but we are conditioned in our Western society to believe that the highest level of comprehension is intellectual…the highest level of understanding is not intellectual but spiritual, and spiritual realities are beyond reason, since God’s ways are beyond human comprehension…Intellectual answers are limited and partial at best. It is truly tragic if we willingly remain at that level our entire lives, choosing to accept only that which we can intellectually comprehend.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“To attain a living faith in Christ as God, it is not enough to see Him remove a fever (Mark 1:30-31), forgive and heal a man (Mar 2:11-12), calm a storm (Mark 4:39), or feed a crowd (Mark. 8:19-20). It is impossible, for Christ tells us: “Assuredly . . . no sign shall be given to this generation” (Mark 8:12). We must meet Him in a new place that lies beyond the scope of reason, outside the confines of our darkened and hardened hearts. He takes hold of us and unites us to Him in “a supranatural relationship,” if we dare to accept Him. We reach out, but He unites. “How is it you do not understand” (Mark 8:21)? This union is God’s reasonable gift beyond reason.” (Dynamis 1/13/2020)

“God is not against reason; He is beyond reason. God cannot be known through reason alone…Faith is beyond reason and unbelief is unreasonable. Unbelief is often dense, comes from frivolity and shallowness of thought, and from a volatile life and confused consciousness.” (Father Anthony Coniaris, Elder Moses the Athonite)

“Can we who live today, after two thousand years, meet Christ in the same way as those who lived during that time? Listen to Him, speak to Him, and receive His blessings? The Church officially answers with a firm “yes.”…How can this be so? It is impossible with our limited human reason to comprehend how such an event might take place. It is beyond reason, and enters the realm of Mystery. When something in our daily lives is inexplicable, we call it a mystery. There are many things human logic cannot explain, such as supernatural events related to Divine actions. These are the Mysteries of God, and in order for us to approach them and receive benefit, we must go beyond our five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch). Our senses can only relate to material things. To touch the Mysteries of God requires faith (another sense). However, this faith is not something from the human imagination, which is undefined, hypothetical and dark. The Christian faith is based on a real person, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who revealed to us everything we need to know in order to reach our final destination.” (Metropolitan of Pisidia Sotirios)

“Knowledge and faith! Between the impulses of the two, the human spirit suffers trials and tribulations without number. If there is one thing that is an effort for the human spirit, it is knowledge; why would faith not be, as well? Of course it is. This is where we find numberless shipwrecked souls, but also survivors. Both knowledge and faith are logically equally valid. In essence the whole of knowledge is based on faith. In the case of faith, it is that our conscience is healthy, rational, natural and worthy of our trust…Faith, as an instrument of knowledge, is aware that, for perceptible human knowledge, it is above intellection and conception. It has its own eye, which sees the invisible. Of course, the fields of vision, of faith and knowledge, are both restricted: that which is beyond conception is inconceivable…Knowledge of God is so far beyond reason that it often appears to be absurd.” (Saint Justin Popovich)

“The list of heretics using their logical and rational minds goes on and on, with many still at work today. Simply using our rational and logical minds to understand a God that is far beyond our comprehension are the very things heresies are made of... and how they continue to exist today. If you sit through a presentation from certain heretical groups, they will continually ask you: “Doesn’t this make sense to you?” They learned long ago the best approach is to appeal to rational and logical thinking. There is Truth in this universe and at some point we have to accept the fact that our rational minds may not arrive at it because some of the things of God are truly beyond our comprehension.” (Fr. Stephen Powley)

“There is nothing worse than that man should measure and judge of divine things by human reasoning”…The great preacher says that heresies flow from attempts to apply human thinking to the divine will and works of God. We might add that when the Gospel is preached in human terms to conform to human ways of thinking, it loses its power. The casual, come-as-you-are Christianity that is so popular these days is a prime example of this powerlessness. Lackadaisical preaching in human terms does not convict. Thus, it does not lead to conviction and change of heart.” (St. John Chrysostom, Fr. Basil)

“The logic of this world on its own is a coffin…because the “success and happiness” that the world promises “does not conquer death.” (Archimandrite Vasileios, Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“…there is a knowledge that can be known in a manner that cannot be expressed – one that transcends reason – and it is this sort of knowledge that is most essential for our life. Some years back, my wife and I stood beside the Grand Canyon. I had bought a small camera for the trip and felt a deep frustration as I tried to take pictures. Every picture I took, no matter how I pointed the camera, no matter how I adjusted the lens, was a failure. Every picture was entirely accurate. However, no picture could capture what I saw and felt. The Grand Canyon, and the experience of standing on its edge, cannot fit in a standard camera (if any). I think that reason is somewhat like that. It can do an amazing job of expressing and understanding certain things. It cannot, however, do everything. If there is a “reason” that can comprehend the whole of things, then it is unknown to human beings.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“In relation to the cosmos, this is held to mean that the intellect—when purified by divine grace—provides not knowledge about the creation, expressed in verbal or mathematical terms. Rather, it provides a direct apprehension or spiritual perception of the inner essences or principles (logoi) of all the components of the cosmos….The theme of God’s use of wisdom in creation is developed in Prov 8:22-31. Because God established the world to operate according to the principle of wisdom it is impossible for anyone to live successfully in His world apart from the wisdom that only God can give.” (Christopher C. Knight, NET Bible, Proverbs 3:19)

“There is nothing worse than that man should measure and judge of divine things by human reasoning.” The great preacher says that heresies flow from attempts to apply human thinking to the divine will and works of God. We might add that when the Gospel is preached in human terms to conform to human ways of thinking, it loses its power. The casual, come-as-you-are Christianity that is so popular these days is a prime example of this powerlessness. Such preaching in human terms does not convict. Thus, it does not lead to conviction and change of heart.” (St. John Chrysostom, Fr. Basil)

“The human capacity for reason is to be distinguished from the application of deductive reasoning as a theological method. Human reasoning is part of the created order, which can never apprehend the uncreated nature of God, for He is radically dissimilar and is not part of the created order…The words used by the Fathers for increased knowledge of God are always words of ascent, anabasis, an upward movement of gradual understanding based on spiritual maturity. Theological insight results primarily from one’s relationship with God, which, contrary to book learning, is open to all—clergy and laity, monastics and those living in the world, men and women, the highly educated and the uneducated.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“As the primary bearers of Hellenistic culture, the Athenian philosophers naturally wish to bring the visiting apostle to a gathering at the Areopagus or Mars Hill (Acts 17:19). According to Saint Luke, the Stoics and Epicureans who “encountered him” (vs. 18) are especially curious about his “new doctrine” (vs. 19). Among the pagan schools of philosophy, these two dedicated the greatest effort to illumining the uncertainties of life and seeking truth concerning the divine. However, their efforts were based solely on human reasoning. Saint Paul’s words undercut the Athenians’ basic assumption that the ultimate truth about life can be found by men through reason, using trial and error. We recall that in the Garden of Eden the serpent suggests this very approach, promising Adam and Eve “you will be like gods” (Gn 3:6).” (Dynamis 6/8/2021)

“The Life within the Holy Trinity conceals itself from all scrutiny and transcends any ability of human reason to fathom its mystery, but this doesn’t mean that God conceals Himself from the rational creatures He created to know, love and unite with Him. God in self-realization communicates to all that exists, but only through revelation. We are not to think or discuss anything about the nature of God except what is revealed through the incarnation of the Son and Word of God, Jesus Christ. All else is mere speculation.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)

“It is reason Herself that teaches us not to rely on reason.” (C.S. Lewis)

“The idea that one might teach anyone about the Lord seems absurd, if we look at the task soberly. However, the teaching of the faith remains an essential ministry within the Church (Eph 4:11), even if the endeavor borders on the preposterous. We must keep in mind that the Christian teacher is not asked to conduct an academic course about Christ in the abstract. Understanding the limitations of the human mind – his own as well as that of others – the true teacher of the faith does never seeks to convey a mere body of intellectual information. The true Christian teacher necessarily speaks from the heart, from the inmost aspect of his being…” (Dynamis 1/13/15)

“… those who are rich in knowledge “have to do a great deal of gymnastics to extricate themselves from their neat and tidy concepts, opinions, perspectives, experiences and worldviews” before they can approach in humble faith “the naked earth where the Child lies in the crib.” (Hans Urs von Balthasar)

“Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary, He told us to be not only "as harmless as doves," but also "as wise as serpents." He wants a child's heart, but a grown-up's head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in firstclass fighting trim. The fact that you are giving money to a charity does not mean that you need not try to find out whether that charity is a fraud or not. The fact that what you are thinking about is God Himself (for example, when you are praying) does not mean that you can be content with the same babyish ideas which you had when you were a five-year-old.” (C.S. Lewis)

“It is proper to use reason to a great extent in seeking to understand God and theology, because, indeed (as our Lord commanded us), we are to love God with our “minds” as well as our hearts...reason and faith are complementary (but faith is the far more important of the two)." (Dave Armstrong)

“… as a human faculty, faith is unlike, but in a way connected to, the act of reasoning, by which we make sense of the world around us. It is an “understanding” of that which is beyond understanding. Just because something is beyond understanding does not make it unreasonable. Like music and art, faith is not opposed to human intellect, but rather makes use of that faculty in order to understand and experience more fully its object.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

"...before the Fall, Adam in his natural state had a heart illumined by the All-holy Spirit. Adam’s partaking of the Tree disrupted the natural balance of perception, and his reasoning capacity became the primary faculty of perception. This caused a usurping of the primary faculty of the heart, resulting in confusion and a darkening of perception." (Archimandrite Sergius)

“Can we do it if God helps us? Yes, but what do we mean when we talk of God helping us? We mean God putting into us a bit of Himself, so to speak. He lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another. When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do it.” (C.S. Lewis)

“To those who are distrustful, who doubt and dispute and use only the faculty of reason and are not open to God, God does not show himself. God does not enter locked souls; He does not force an entrance.” (Elder Porphyrious)

“...worship that is transcendent, otherworldly, and speaks to one’s spirit remains the best apologetic for the Christian faith: more so than reasoned doctrinal arguments and debate...” (PeteVere)

“The conflict is not between faith and reason, but between faith and sight…Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith takes over when reason can say no more…it is right and fair to explore and test faith by reason .” (C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, Peter Kreeft)

"...human reason has been corrupted since the fall of man; therefore, it must be submitted to faith and revelation and thus raised up to a higher level." (Fr. Seraphim Rose)

“There is no rational, scientific, or natural explanation for the existence of things. Either matter and energy existed always, a theory that defies reason and nature; or it came into existence on its own, which defies reason and nature; or it was created by a self-existent being, which also defies reason and nature. No natural explanation is possible. The simple fact of existence forces us to admit the supernatural.” (Thomas Williams)

“To attain a living faith in Christ as God, it is not enough to see Him remove a fever (Mark 1:30- 31), forgive and heal a man (Mark 2:11-12), calm a storm (Mark. 4:39), or feed a crowd (Mark 8:19-20). It is impossible, for Christ tells us: “Assuredly . . . no sign shall be given to this generation” (Mark 8:12). We must meet Him in a new place that lies beyond the scope of reason, outside the confines of our darkened and hardened hearts. He takes hold of us and unites us to Him in “a supranatural relationship,” if we dare to accept Him. We reach out, but He unites…This union is God’s reasonable gift beyond reason.” (Dynamis 12/15/14)

“Faith is knowledge that cannot be rationally demonstrated. If such knowledge cannot be rationally demonstrated, then faith is a supranatural relationship through which, in an unknowable and so undemonstrable manner, we are united with God in a union which is beyond intellection.” (Saint Maximos the Confessor)

“Faith means living confidently in every circumstance, without tangible proofs. The materialist culture around us insists that such a life is foolhardy, for it is not based on hard, measurable facts.” (OCPM 12/20/2015)

“Faith is not a matter of “belief,” an act of intellectual willing. Faith is a perception of things that do not necessarily appear obvious.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“No amount of study can reveal God to us, for He is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. No scientist or philosopher or theologian or historian can know anything about God unless the Holy Spirit has revealed it to him. Faith in God comes to us as a gift, and our response to this gift requires that we keep His commandments, for in doing so our faith becomes a relationship with God that is made personal. This faith transforms our lives and makes us whole.” (Abbott Tryphon)

“Faith goes beyond cerebral recognition and opens the door of the heart to Jesus Himself. It is at this heart level that the believer must be deeply rooted or, better yet, firmly established in His love." (Jack and Dona Eggar)

“...knowing does not come from our rational thoughts or emotions at all, nor does it come from other people. It comes from personal experience, what might be called a spiritual revelation or discovery, an inner touching from the One who created us to begin with. The more we become like God, which is who we really are in Christ Jesus, the more we begin to see and know how truly valuable we are to God.” (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“Real faith is not blind. It is evidence-based and requires all our efforts in pursuit of the truth. God requires that we not bury our heads in the sand but open our eyes to behold the evidence of Him all around us. He calls us to use our reason and intellect (Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 22:37) as we develop a faith that is credible.” (Rice Broocks)

“Mary, the mother of Christ, also shows us that she did not live a life of blind and unreasoning faith. By asking Gabriel questions and then accepting God’s will and choosing to do it, she sets an example for us of a faith that engages the whole person including the mind.” (Sacramental Living, Father Stanley Harakas)

“Since God is reasonable (Isa. 1:18) and wants us to use our reason, Christians don’t get brownie points for being stupid. In fact, using reason is part of the greatest commandment which, according to Jesus, is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).” (Norman L. Geisler & Frank Turek)

“…man's capacity to reason, his inward sense of non-material origins, the faculties which distinguish humanity from the plant and animal world, are considered sparks or rays of the Divinity and manifestations of "natural" revelation.” (Father Demetrios J. Constantelos)

“We must trust Him [God] completely in every choice we make. We should not omit careful thinking or belittle our God-given ability to reason; but we should not trust our own ideas to the exclusion of all others. We must not be wise in our own eyes…Christ [warns] us not to base our lives [solely] on human reasoning. God gives wisdom to those who live not by “the spirit of the world, but [by] the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” ((Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6, Dynamis 7/9/2014)

“Rational faith is something altogether different from blind faith...blind faith is never required...Rational faith is based first on reason and then on trust...Believing on the basis of evidence is easy. Raising that belief to the level of trust often is not. Trust requires risk because it means you must place yourself in the hands of the one you trust...The reward of trust is an increase in confidence and certainty.” (Thomas Williams)

“...the understanding of faith as knowledge leads people to think that if only they can convince themselves of something they otherwise would believe not to be true, then miracles can be performed…they can be cured only if they have enough “faith.” But this isn’t faith. It’s just an exercise in self-delusion. Faith in such a circumstance is trusting God and drawing closer to Him no matter what He might choose to permit.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“We often attempt to manage God, defining Him by our own logic, creating Him to suit ourselves… God cannot be controlled by us.” (Dynamis 9/29/2014)

“When we place confidence in our own intelligence, appearance, or accomplishments instead of in God, we risk torment later when these strengths fade…True wisdom goes beyond amassing knowledge; it is applying knowledge in a life-changing way. Intelligent or experienced people are not necessarily wise. Wisdom comes from allowing what God teaches to guide us.” (Life Application Study Bible, Isaiah 50:10-11, Psalms 119:97-104)

“Christianity is a way of life, faith and inner life and experience: These are its bases, not necessarily research, intellectual thought, and logic, even though logic and thought are not foreign to the Christian mind….religion is not a merely emotional response but a response that in one way or another is total, involving the whole person, intellect, emotion, and will.” (Father Demetrios J. Constantelos)

“There is a proper place for the intellect in Christianity. In praying and singing, both the mind and the spirit are to be fully engaged. When we sing, we should also think about the meaning of the words. When we pour out our feelings to God in prayer, we should not turn off our capacity to think. True Christianity is neither barren intellectualism nor thoughtless emotionalism.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 14:15)

“…the pursuit of knowledge was inseparable from the pursuit of piety and holiness. The wisdom found in this world through intellectual endeavors was to be tempered by worship, prayer, the study of the Holy Scriptures, and obedience to the will of God.” (Archbishop Demetrios of America)

"The act of the will of faith is not a single moment of final decision: it is a permanent indefinitely repeated act/state which must go on - so we pray for 'final perseverance'. The temptation to unbelief (which really means rejection of our Lord and His claims) is always there within us." (J.R.R. Tolkien)

“The principle part of faith is patience." (George Macdonald)

“Commitment to following Christ is not just a one-time event. Rather, it is the continual practice of faith and obedience..." (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 9:23)

“This is what it means to be discipled: to go through an extended time of spiritual struggle…we must apply our faith at each step along the way as best we can.” (Dynamis 8/17/2014)

“We may feel that our faith in God and our love for Christ and for others will always be inadequate. We will experience times of failure. But we can remain confident that Christ will help our faith and love grow as our relationship with Him deepens.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 1:14)

Quote of the Day


bottom of page