|Protestants often fall back to “faith” when challenged with Catholic arguments.
“Well, I just believe that it is true,” they will say.
Whether it is their belief in the shorter selection of books they’ve chosen to be in their Bibles, or in their interpretation of Scripture, they rely on faith and not reason, which they see as another corrupted human faculty.
But truth is one, and truth is found through faith, and through reason.
The Catholic Church teaches that faith and reason complement each other and work together, like two wings on a bird giving it flight.
From Bumper Sticker Catholicism’s Faith and Reason chapter:
1. Faith is not unquestioning belief in something that has no evidence to support it. That is fideism. The dogmas of the Catholic Faith, it is true, cannot be proven by reason alone, or they would not be truths that God needed to reveal, but every dogma has historical and biblical evidence supporting it, which give motives of credibility to believe it is true.
2. God gave us a great gift in His Church by making it both beautifully faithful as well as eminently reasonable. If either piece were missing, it would be immeasurably more difficult to discover her. But God in His wisdom has shown us that just as grace builds upon nature, so faith builds upon reason and does not eradicate it or make it unnecessary.
3. Because Protestants reject the Catholic belief that Christ founded a visible Church and has protected His Church from error in her teachings, they are forced to fill in the holes, inconsistencies, and discontinuities in their beliefs with ‘faith,’ yet doing so is really (unintentionally) being fideistic and not the true use of faith.
Faith and reason don’t have to fight. They were meant to be a matched pair, like two horses harnessed together, pulling a carriage in perfect harmony.
To read about how faith and reason played a key role in my conversion, check out this guest post I wrote for Called to Communion, which garnered over 100 comments and lots of good debate with Protestants.