Acton Institute Powerblog

How reason and faith complement each other

Faith and reason are mutually reinforcing. When faith and reason are combined, faith is kept from metastasizing into irrationality and reason is kept from becoming overly materialistic. The combination of faith and reason is the foundation of Western Civilization.

In a new review of Samuel Gregg’s book, Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization, Gene Veith of Patrick Henry College notes that “[t]he scholastic theology of Roman Catholicism, grounded as it is in Aristotelian philosophy, does indeed integrate faith and reason, but how about the Reformation critics of that theology who insisted instead on “faith alone”?”

To help answer his question, Veith looks to the thinking of reformer Martin Luther. “I think Luther does affirm both faith and reason, in Gregg’s sense, but he also explains how they should be related to each other,” writes Veith. “Our citizenship in God’s eternal kingdom comes by faith in Christ alone. But in our citizenship in God’s temporal kingdom we are to employ reason.”

Read the full book review: “Faith + Reason, Logos and Logic

Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.