When Faith And Logic Seem To Be Contradictory To Each Other
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
Long ago a poet remarked that birds can fly and we cannot because birds have perfect faith and we do not. Aeronautical engineers will tell you that it is impossible for birds to fly because of the way they are made; but birds, not knowing that they cannot fly, rise to heights above.
The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews wrote, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3, KJV), and I’ve been thinking of the power of that simple phrase, “Through faith we understand…”
At first, faith and logic seem to be contradictory to each other, yet understanding seems to transcend or to rise above logic. There are some things which at face value have no logic to them whatsoever, yet when they are taken by faith, I first come to accept and then to understand what may not be perfectly logical. Some people, lacking faith, are stumped by the lack of logic, and struggle for most of their lives awaiting explanations that will never be forthcoming.
One of the reasons that Scripture talks about “faith as a little child,” is that children are not concerned with logic; theirs is a simple, straightforward trust, and on the wings of faith, they understand.
Take, for example, the fact of God’s love for me as a person. Frankly, it seems rather illogical. Why should God consider me to be worthy of His interest or His affection? Because of my goodness? No–it’s just not there. Because of what I’ve done for Him? Again–in relationship to what He’s done for me, my pittance wouldn’t weigh in the balance of His scale. Because I’m so much better looking than most people? No–you can forget that.
If I depended upon logic to come up with an answer, I’m afraid that I would be against a brick wall forever. But “through faith, we understand…” Faith is my response to what God has revealed in His Word, the Bible, and though it may run counter to logic, through faith I understand.
It isn’t that faith is an enemy of logic, for there are times when faith is the most logical thing in the world; but faith transcends logic, which means through faith we understand. Consider that logic is somewhat of a judgment call–it’s an understanding of what you think! But God’s logic is totally different from ours; and by accepting His point of view by faith, we understand many things that would otherwise escape us.
Through faith we understand many things that at first appear quite illogical to us. Love, for example, is at times most illogical. On occasion, I see an individual who loves someone, though to me there isn’t much logic in the relationship, but that commitment of love is like the upward draft of an ocean breeze that lifts the object of their affection to new heights of accomplishment. Through faith we understand.
It is also through faith we understand something of God’s plan and purpose for our lives; and by accepting what we do not understand, we rise above the gravitational pull of our old natures and lives.
Part of the reason that we strive to separate faith and logic is that logic demands proof and evidence while faith sees something as a reality which is yet unseen. As Paul explained, “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). I’m not suggesting that all logic be put aside, but I am saying very clearly that faith transcends logic, and apart from faith, relationships break down. There is a logic to faith, a very important one. Through faith, we understand.