Religion And Theology

In an earlier post (Why I Am A Dooyeweerdian) I confessed to being a former “embryonic rationalist.” However, I came to believe that rationalism is at odds with true religion. Some thoughts (provoked by a recent conversation) may elucidate this further.

There is perhaps a sort of rational-theoretical certitude (in "analytical" statements. eg., all bachelors are unmarried). And there is a kind of psychological conviction and feeling of assurance.

But I think faith has its own confidence, and it can only come from God's Spirit witnessing with&by the Word. In matters of biblical teaching (in addition to the life-or-death message of salvation) regenerate persons can have the confidence of faith in those teachings which God may illumine their hearts to see are truly taught in the Scripture. And this sort of faith can have no other object than God as He has revealed Himself, and truths of His Word.

There is a crucial distinction here between (faith-) confession and theology (which is a scientific-theoretical affair). This distinction is too often unappreciated, even within covenantal-reformed circles. However, this distinction does not diminish the importance of theology, rather it gives it a proper place and keeps us from holding theoretical thought as autonomous… even when it addresses Scriptural doctrine.

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