by Wes Moore

When should we let our brains decide what is true about the world? After all, God gave us a brain (I know this is debatable, but allow me some latitude here), and it is only natural that He wants us to use it. Nobody could argue with this.

But what about when what we think we know (I emphasize think) seems to contradict with what God has told us clearly in His writings, the Bible? Who wins in this case?

What is the proper use of human reason (the noggin) as it relates to God and His teaching? Do we reinterpret, change, remove, or ignore portions of His Word when we think we know better?

The Proper Use of the Noggin

Martin Luther described two uses of human reason as it relates to the Bible (commonly referred to as revelation, not the book of Revelation but truth that God has revealed to man through Scripture).

First, Luther described the magisterial use of reason. This is when the human mind sits like a judge over God and allows or rejects His teachings. When the mind determines that God got something wrong in the Bible, through its power of reasoning or through what it thinks it has learned or knows, he overrules it and redefines truth as he now sees it. (This is the improper use of reason, as we will discuss later.)

Second, Luther spoke of the ministerial use of reason, where reason is the servant of Scripture, not its master. Here the mind accepts the clear teachings of the Creator from the Bible and uses his powers of reason to understand why God said what He said and how a particular teaching relates to others. In this application, what God has said is immoveable and man changes his conclusions based on the Creator’s Word, not his own….

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