Faith and Reason

Reason, Faith and the Struggle for Western Civilization: A Review

Image of Reason, Faith, and the Struggle for Western Civilization
by Samuel Gregg
Gateway Editions 2019
Hardcover 256

A month or two ago, I came across Samuel Gregg’s book while perusing items at Acton.org, and the title caught my eye. In my personal efforts to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), I’ve frequently felt that I don’t yet have an adequate understanding of the relationship between faith and reason, and by extension, the relationship between the sciences and Scripture.

The book didn’t take me where I hoped to go on that topic. It did, however, provide an interesting and enjoyable survey of the history of Western thought, and one of the better interpretations of the role of reason and Christianity in Western thought.

Samuel Gregg is the director of research at the Acton Institute and has degrees in philosophy from the University of Melbourne (MA) and Oxford (PhD). Though he has written a pile of books, mostly on economics, his focus in this volume is more history-focused than I expected. Though the hardcover edition has 256 pages, I also felt that it ended at just about the point where there should have been several more chapters on various views of the relationship between faith and reason and analysis of supporting arguments—as well as more consideration of potential strategies for preserving what remains of Western Civilization.

Chapters six and seven do address these topics, and they aren’t a bad start, but I was hoping for a deeper and more comprehensive exploration.

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Are Atheists Right? Is Faith the Absence of Reason/Evidence?

"Although these atheists may have heard sincere Christians wrongly say things like, “oh, you just have to have faith” as if they didn’t need evidence for their belief, this is not supported by the meaning of the words faith or belief that is found in the New Testament." - AiG

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