John Wesley for Today – Reason, reasonably considered

Woodcut of the Augsburg Confession, Article VI...
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It is the true remark of an eminent man, who had made many observations on human nature, “If reason be against a man, a man will always be against reason.” This has been confirmed by the experience of all ages. Very many have been the instances of it in the Christian as well as the heathen world; yea, and that in the earliest times. Even then there were not wanting well-meaning men who, not having much reason themselves, imagined that reason was of no use in religion; yea, rather, that it was a hinderance to it. And there has not been wanting a succession of men who have believed and asserted the same thing. But never was there a greater number of these in the Christian Church, at least in Britain, than at this day. (here)

It’s those seminary types which are about the Reason!

Wesley is arguing that Reason and Faith (i.e., religion) can actually exist side by side. I sort of like his quote at the beginning. Think of the YEC or one who holds to this or that doctrine. If Reason (science, facts, etc..) is against the person, that person will stand against Reason.

The Theory of Motivated Reasoning… explained centuries earlier… by a theologian.

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10 Replies to “John Wesley for Today – Reason, reasonably considered”

  1. Aw, c’mon. All reasonings motivated. A Hugh Ross-style OEC reading is at least, if not more, motivated that a YEC reading. It’s not just people you disagree with who are biased, y’know.

      1. It’s a combination of things: getting more organized with time, having more things to get done which leaves less time for chatting on the internets, recognizing we have certain differences in the way we approach things that aren’t likely to be ironed out in this sort of format, and, perhaps most importantly, realizing — though I may still forget it from time to time — that it’s not my job to go try to fix everyone’s thinking every time they disagree with me.

        Plus, I know I’ve been wrong on enough things enough times and know myself well enough to know that, if I let myself, I could seriously spend the bulk of my time going round and round in circles over disagreements. And that’s not the sort of life I want to live. And I know that I’m capable of spending a massive time discussing stuff without changing any minds.

        Looking back, just summing that all up in one sentence probably did come off a bit brusque. Which leads me to another reason for limiting how much time I spend tangling on the internet over such things as the meaning of reason: I find myself having to constantly clarify and reclarify what I mean, often to no avail anyhow.

          1. So here’s an example for how awful my tin ear is when it comes to hearing tone of voice on the internets: I can’t tell whether you (1) are sarcastically pretending you don’t have time management issues, (2) are actually asking about what I’m doing with my time, or (3) are getting at something completely different.

            Pretty bad, no?

            Also, something my father taught me with regard to the physical world that also seems to hold in the internet world and the conversation world — self-defense is almost always a waste of time and energy.

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