The Relationship between Faith and Reason as Depicted in the Book `A History of God` by Karen Armstrong

The Relationship between Faith and Reason as Depicted in the Book `A History of God` by Karen Armstrong

TheRelationship between Faith and Reason as Depicted in the Book ‘AHistory of God’by Karen Armstrong




TheRelationship between Faith and Reason as Depicted in the Book ‘AHistory of God’by Karen Armstrong

Thesedays, most of the believers are speaking less about faith using lessrational terms. However, from the historical point of view,Christianity has been used to affirm the importance of having a rightrelationship between faith and reason. Consequently, since memorialthere has been a significant measure of agreement as per theChristian history that faith and reason are compatible (Armstrong,1994).As a result, Christian faith has been used to distinguish betweenfaith &quotgood&quot reasoning and knowledge. For instance,Christian faith asserts that there are objective sources that areused to strengthen the foundation of the knowledge, rationality, andreason. In his book, Karen Armstrong affirm that the sources that areused to create foundation in one`s faith are based on individual`sheat and the rational God he God is said to be the infinitely wiseand also know all things. For example, Armstrong argues that Godcreated the whole universe to give a coherent order and then createdhuman being in his likeness this shows that human being was createdwith a rational capacity when compared to the creatures and has theability to discover his or her intelligence and orderliness. Inchapter six of his book, Armstrong, states that logic and rationalityare the primary expectations of the Christians theistic worldview.

Forexample, what we can learn in chapter six of the book “AHistory of God&quotis that various religions were aware of God`s existence they hadfaith in God. Additionally, people perceived philosophies and scienceas an antagonistic to their religion reason. However, they weredevoted to their religious, and they considered themselves as loyalsons of God (for Christians) and prophet (for Muslims). For example,the Muslims of that time were politically aware of the luxuriouscourts and were focused on charging it as per the dictates of reason(pp. 78). Moreover, both Christians and Muslims ventured wereimperative because their philosophies and scientific studies andbelieves were based on the Greek reasoning. Consequently, there was aneed to find the connection between their faith and reason using moreobjective and rationalistic manner. However, the teaching extractedfrom the book is that one cannot see faith in isolation rather itwould not be healthy to relegate God and to separate his intellectualreasons.

Onthe other hand, chapter seven of the book is talking about the God ofthe Mystics. According to this chapter God is a personal God, whovalues all religions. For this reason all religions such asChristianity, Muslims, and Judaism are aware of the personal God theidea of the personal God have been used to represent every religionto its best (pp.94). Consequently, all the religions are able tovalue their beliefs and faith, sacred, and inalienable rights of allpeople such developing a sense of appreciation for human personalityand beliefs this has created a sense of values when acquiring theliberal humanism based on faith and reason. Moreover, it is becauseof faith and reason that a Christians, Islam, Hindu, and otherreligions are able to devote their life to their God. Additionally,faith ensures that the believers are doing God’s will on earth asit is in heaven (pp. 96).

Inchapter eight of the book, we learn about God, who is a God for thereformers. For this reason, religions are primarily supposed topractice active faith, remain devoted n their beliefs, and ensureGod`s will is done in the whole world. Everyone who is a reformer andwork for God is devoted to God`s work and has faith in Him. Themotivation given in chapter seven and eight by Armstrong is thatreformers or people who preach the word of God experience a personalconfrontation or meeting with God they work for both God andhumanity (pp. 115). Additionally, the God explained in chapter eightis an “imperative” and fair in His actions. This is because Godcalls his people to him, gives them the choice of either acceptinghis love and internal happiness or reject it. Consequently, throughfaith believers agree that God is able to relate them throughdialogue and not through silent contemplation. This means that theunion with God was not expected for the next world rather, it ismeant for this world we are in. In addition, a believer who iscommitted to the will of God can get everything he or she aspires anddesires to have while on earth. This is because the God of reformersis able to reward his followers with everything they need everythingis instantaneously available to those who have faith in God(Armstrong,2011).

Inchapter nine of the book, it is out of “reason” that the peoplebecame enlightened at the end of the sixteen century and workedtowards producing a new society entirely with different perceptionabout humanity. This means that people became enlightened throughparticipation in religious activities that strengthened their faithin God and enhanced their reasoning. The involvement of theChristians and Muslims affected their perception and subsequentlychanged their thinking about the nature and role of God in theirlife. For example, faith in God and reason help people from the westto work towards their civilization and coming to terms with otherreligions beliefs. However, according to chapter nine of the book byArmstrong, things were not moving so smoothly despite people strongfaith and reason. This is because people from the West createdproblems that seemed to be new and challenging to solve. For example,the Islam religion dominated in its power both in Africa and theMiddle East. However, all religions used their beliefs, faith, andreason to respect each other. Above cases affirm that faith andreason is more or less related which faith one cannot reason.


Armstrong,K. (1994). Ahistory of God.Random House LLC.

Armstrong,K. (2011). Thebattle for God: A history of fundamentalism.Ballantine Books.