Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opus 2012-297: Victory of Reason: Is Christianity Really Reasonable?

In his book, The Victory of Reason, Rodney Stark is tracing some principles that underlie the development of Western culture in general and American culture in particular.  I gave a quote from the book in my introductory comments: 
“While other world religions emphasized mystery and intuition, Christianity alone embraced reason and logic as the primary guide to religious truth.” p. x
This looks like it is a statement about Christianity, and it is, but that is not the focus of his remarks.  What he is doing is trying to explain the foundations for Western dominance in our modern world.  His point here is that, unlike other world religions, Christianity was open to reason and logic.

Most modern “wisdom” would have a wide gulf between Christianity and reason.  Since we talk about being saved by the grace of God and that grace being appropriated by faith, most people think that means turning off your brain and just believing.

He is pointing out that such a stereotype is not accurate.  He is speaking as a scholar and sociologist, not as a believer.  He is not saying there is no mystery or intuition.  He is simply saying that Biblical Christianity never requires you to turn off your brain or abandon your reason.  In the notes that I took, he specifically compares Christianity to Judaism and Islam.  Because he mentioned world religions I would assume he was also including Buddhism and Hinduism. 

I am a follower of Jesus Christ because I believe the claims of the Bible but that belief does not exist in a vacuum.  I have a wide range of knowledge.  I am sure there are large gaps but my data base if very eclectic.  As an indicator, years ago when working on my teaching credential I took a nationally normed test on general knowledge.  With no studying or preparation I scored in the 98th percentile.  For those who have not had statistics in years, that means I scored better than 98 percent of the people who take the test.  I have continued reading and learning since then.  I say this, not to toot my own horn, but to point out that being a believer is not a sign of being ignorant. 

When I put it all together, science, history, philosophy, experience, emotion and observation all tell me that Jesus is the best answer for all the questions of life.  So I agree with his analysis, at least about Christianity.  It is a religion of faith, reason and logic.  It is a powerful combination.

Stark, Rodney, The Victory of Reason.  New York:  Random House, 2005.

homo unius libri


  1. I'm going to have to get a copy of that book.

  2. It will give you something to read while you are sitting on the bank with no bait on your hook.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.