Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
II Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
I Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”
I Thessalonians 5:21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.”
Maybe the most profound words crafted by the human mind and written by the human hand come from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It is a sentence packed with meaning and purpose, with wisdom and brilliance, and with humility and subservience. Interestingly, these words stemmed from an editing compromise by our founding fathers.
Thomas Jefferson’s original document started the sentence in the following way: “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable …”. Benjamin Franklin made the recommendation to merge “sacred and undeniable” into “self-evident” in part for literary flow. It also appears that Franklin believed that this edit would better demonstrate the powerful balance between reason and religion. This change didn’t detract from the core Christian ethos woven into our founding documents. Instead, it enhanced it. This is an important point that we should embrace as Christians today.
Christian faithfulness is enhanced by the powerful balance of reason and religion. The faithful do not check their minds at the church-house door. Instead, as seekers of truth we are to appreciate the potency of God’s creative genius that gives us powerful brains and inquisitive spirits. We are to marvel at the brilliant order of the universe while we embrace the opportunity to prove all things and answer all critics. We are to supplement our walks of faith in Christ with the explanatory power of science and reason. This mindset does not detract from a core Christian ethos that should be woven into our lives. Instead it enhances it!
PLEASE PRAY THAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WOULD DEMONSTRATE THE POWERFUL BALANCE BETWEEN REASON AND RELIGION IN OUR LIVES. May we prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good.
For a few related thoughts, please see:
ADMIN Note: The historical background of the editing change in the Declaration of Independence came from “The American Story” by David Rubenstein.