We have good reason to trust God. But this trust moves us beyond mere reason. Faith is well-reasoned trust. While we may not fully, rationally, comprehend mysteries like the doctrine of the Trinity, we can trust the triune God. The Christian need not use reason as an ultimate guide to all belief, but they certainly must not neglect it.
What is the role of reason in the life of faith? Should a believer simply walk by faith and defy all rational concerns? Should Christians ever offer a coherent and compelling explanation for what they believe? How might we balance all the ways reason can both go right and wrong in the domain of spirituality?
One of the definitions Webster’s dictionary gives for faith is, “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” Is there no evidence for God? Do Christians have a firm belief is something for which there is no proof? Is Christian faith irrational?
Alvin Plantinga from Notre Dame University strongly disagrees. Plantinga has long been a champion of a view known as “Reformed Epistemology.” He argues belief in God is neither irrational nor does it require an argument. Plantinga says belief in God is a properly basic belief, something we can believe in without arguments or evidences.
We believe in God in a similar way we believe in the reliability of our sense experience. Our senses can fail us. We still trust them. There are times our senses are entirely off, like when we are dreaming and everything we experience is false. We can’t prove we’re not in some dream state now, or even living in the matrix, or stuck in some sort of virtual reality.