Logic, Emotion, and Belief. Should they be separated?
There has to be an explanation for everything. There is some reasonable and logical explanation for every action or reaction that takes place on this earth. I am stopping just short of saying that we as people have crowned Logic the king of the universe and we daily bow down to it sovereignty. But just short.
And this certainly has had its affect on the acceptance of religion and Christianity in particular. With the utterance of Descartes mortal phrase, “I think, therefore, I am” the tie between reason and theology slowly started to become untwined. Darwin’s theory of natural selection provided increasing tension that further separated the two. Now many popular scientist scoff at religion’s very existence.
It did not always use to be this way. Newton considered the disciplines of science and theology inseparable. But I am not dumb enough to know that the “used to be” argument will persuade anyone. Logic and reason are progressive in nature and thus anything that is ancient or traditional – whatever that means – serves no purpose to modern man.
To the ones who worship logic and reason there are many things that serve no purpose for modern man simply because they cannot be explained rationally.
Illogical, Impractical, Irrational
I am convinced that the biggest stumbling block to the Christian message is that it is centered upon and results in an outcome that is illogical, impractical, and irrational. The results of a person who fundamentally changes as a result of a continual encounter with the Jesus of the Bible through the Holy Spirit is a life that does not add up rationally.
The teachings of Jesus tell us to pursue a way of living through the lens of what could be in relation to what is. One example, children are trapped in sex slavery. There are Christians that take impractical and illogical actions to end the atrocity. They put themselves in danger – which goes contrary to the basic drive of survival to rescue a person that will spend the rest of their lives emotionally scarred and physically damaged.
Reason and natural selection - if it is carried out to its ultimate end - should tag such a damaged person for deletion. But Christians see the world through different lenses. They believe in miraculous interventions that can rescue the hurting and impaired. They show irrational compassion and impractical grace by loving the unlovable and caring for the cruelest.
Logic progressed to belief
I spent the majority of my college years studying the logical reasons and arguments for the Christian faith. I might have spent more time reading and listening to apologist Ravi Zacharias than I spent going to class. I understand the need to logically explain the Christian faith and I whole-heartedly recommend this process of study to all people.
Yet, it took me a long time to move from logic and fact to true belief – a belief that results in the type of loving action that Jesus showed in the Bible. I had studied the facts that validated Christianity and I accepted those facts, but I those facts never fundamentally changed me as a person, a member of the Kingdom of God.
Someone has said that the longest journey is the 18 inches that knowledge travels between the head and the heart – the emotional center of a person. Belief ultimately springs from the emotional center of our beings. Since emotions are notoriously fickle the credibility of personal belief ultimately falls under question.
Logic vs. Emotion or Logic + Emotion?
Many people believe that logic and knowledge are independent from emotion and belief. The former is reliable whilst the other changes with the direction of the wind. I do not agree with this. Emotions and Logic work in tandem. Your emotions go haywire when your have been introduced to something that does not fit with your logical mental constructs. When you are the victim of a flat tire you react accordingly because in your mind the logical and predictable journey you envisioned has now been interrupted with this inconvenience. Logic and emotion are not separate they are completely intertwined and are in constant communication.
Unfortunately, we can easily get unbalanced in our approach toward topics of faith and religion. We can feed the intellectual, logical, evidence-seeking side so much that we shut off our emotions. The opposite is also true, and I would say is usually, in the sense of Christianity, the more trodden path. We center so much on the emotion that there is no intellect behind it.
The goal is to have a balanced approach where your emotional belief drives your desire to sure up your faith with logic. The logical pursuit of solid faith should then spur your belief. This of course is the goal, and it takes a lifetime to ultimately find this balance.
How to become balanced in logic and faith.
Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself on either side of the pursuit. There is one proven method that will help you find balance.
Surround yourself with a few people that are in different phases of their search and talk about your faith. Talk about it intellectually. Talk about it emotionally. Talk about the struggle and the breakthroughs. This is why one of our core principles is to talk faith. We know it works because we seen the evidence in our own lives.
If you need some people to talk faith with you are welcome to ask questions and leave comments on this post. Send us a DM on Twitter or Facebook. Message us on Tumblr. We would love to have a conversation with you!