The Norman Transcript

Religion

March 29, 2013

‘The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason’

NORMAN — The Rev. Marcia Cope Fleischman, Broadway Church, Kansas City, Mo.: Two things were going on behind Benjamin Franklin’s statement about faith and reason. First he was seeing the two human capacities, faith and reason, as mutually exclusive from each other. Second, he was having a reaction to embracing the stage of reasoning, which is to reject the previous stage of understanding, which was faith.

In studying integral Christianity today, we see humanity as having several capacities that do not work exclusively but together: Faith, a spiritual capacity, reasoning, a mental capacity, physical capacity and emotional capacity.

Since Ben Franklin’s time, we have witnessed people achieving several stages of consciousness: his, which became known as the modern stage, then the post-modern stage. Now we are seeing another stage of consciousness arising, the integral stage. This stage will be the one in which faith and reason work in complementary fashion to deepen the human spiritual experience.

Faith in earlier stages has been expressed as assent to doctrines and rules, and as the practice of church ritual treating reasoning as suspect. Reason, applied to faith, takes us deeper into life’s questions and demands more than rules and doctrines. The experience of God, or the Divine, is vital to stand up to the demands of reason, to carry one into a vibrant faith and connection with God.

If Ben were alive today, he would be looking for a faith community that encourages the best reasoning and would train him in the mystical, connecting, experiential aspects of faith in God, just as Jesus practiced them.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, senior rabbi at Kehilath Israel Synagogue: In Judaism, there is no contradiction between faith and reason. Every day, we work to understand our texts, other people in our world, and our hearts and souls.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Religion
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Girl told not to say prayer

    OVIEDO, Fla. — The 5-year-old who said she was told not to pray over her lunch visited the school Monday and identified the staffer in a line-up, her family’s lawyer said....

    April 11, 2014

  • CrossPointe chooses Butler as lead pastor

    One of Norman’s largest churches has chosen a new lead pastor for its congregation. Mike Butler, 38, was voted lead pastor by the congregation of CrossPointe Church on March 23. Butler succeeds Glenn Quirk, who served as lead pastor for ...

    April 11, 2014

  • A divine drama

    All of us love drama. We experience drama in many ways. We watch a play on a stage or a show on TV. We have lives filled with drama every day through interactions with other people....

    April 11, 2014

  • What should we think of original sin?

    The Rev. Joe Nassal, Precious Blood Center: Watching the evening news recently, there was one disaster story after another, from the Malaysian airline that disappeared to the mudslide where one minute people are going about their daily ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Lenten lunch set

    The next Norman Ministerial Fellowship Lenten lunch will be Wednesday at NorthHaven Church, 4600 36th Ave. NW. Guest pastor will be the Rev. Joseph Summerville, University Lutheran Church. The sermon theme will be “The Thursday of Holy ...

    April 4, 2014

  • ‘Conversation Sunday’ to feature Dear

    “Conversation Sunday” will be observed this Sunday at United Church of Norman — UCC, 1017 Elm Ave. Brian Hustead will lead the discussion, which will feature the learnings from the Rev. John Dear’s presentations.  A brunch will begin the ...

    April 4, 2014

  • McFarlin to host Holy Week services

    For the past 51 years, the Men’s Prayer Breakfast has been meeting every Wednesday at McFarlin United Methodist Church, 419 S. University Blvd. Many denominations are represented in the membership of the group. Again this year during Holy ...

    April 4, 2014

  • Bishops celebrate Mass on Mexico border

    NOGALES, Ariz. — Roman Catholic leaders made a rare visit to the border and celebrated Mass on Tuesday in the shadow of the fence separating the U.S. and Mexico, offering Holy Communion through the steel barrier to people on the Mexican ...

    April 4, 2014

  • Concerts planned for Easter week

    Celebrate the Easter season during “Lamb of God,” a musical by Rob Gardner, presented by the Central Saints Chorus and orchestra during three free concerts in the metro area....

    April 4, 2014