Why do Lutherans use Reason in every aspect of Life except for Supernatural Religious Claims?

Below is an excerpt from an article which appeared this month in the online newsletter of my former orthodox Lutheran church:

I am convinced that people will not come to Lutheranism via the Whore of Reason. Reason is quite akin to the theology  of  glory  and  law  and  the  hidden  god.  People  love  some  law. It  makes  them  feel  better about themselves. In fact, intellectual argumentation is of course connected to reason and glory. After all, it must inevitably look  at faith as something  we  can   muster up in ourselves or through intellectual arguments.  But Lutheranism confesses total depravity. The Reformed do as well, but from our perspective, and given the above, we believe they confess it in spiteof their theology.

Lutheranism is for the weak and the doubting. It is for those who are weak in faith. It is contrary to reason. The law must do its killing work for people to come to Lutheranism. God kills first before He makes alive. As one brother said, noone likes to be weak or to see themselves as weak. The mask would must be ripped off, andpeople don’t like that. Reason is a theology of glory and for the “strong.” The Gospel is for theweak. For the doubting. For thewretched.

The  weak  know  they  need  the  pure  Gospel  of  the  Sacraments.  Christ  *for  them*  in  Word  and  Sacrament. Those who come to Lutheranism because of intellectual arguments will probably go to Rome or Eastern Orthodoxy, wherethe sacraments are perverted into something we do for God, or simply aids in helping us climb our way to God.

Lutheranism sees the Sacraments for what they are: pure grace, pure Christ, pure forgiveness of sins and mercy for the weak.
 
Gary:  Martin Luther is credited with originally saying that “Reason is the whore of the Devil”.  Orthodox (confessional) Lutherans seem to still believe that.  But have orthodox Lutherans ever thought about this:  What if we approached everything in life viewing “reason” as evil, as something to be despised; as something despicable as, as…a whore?
 
Imagine if doctors despised reason (therefore despising research) and still treated people with seizure disorders by attempting to perform an exorcism on them…as Jesus did!  Imagine if scientists still perceived lightning, droughts, and storms as the expressions of a displeased God and not the natural results of particular atmospheric phenomena?  Imagine if instead of vaccinating children based on reason, we simply prayed to God to heal them after they have become sick with a preventable, and potentially fatal, disease?
 
Imagine a world based on Lutheran faith…and not on reason!
 
What chaos!  What suffering!  Do we really want to return to the mentality and superstitions (faith) of the Dark Ages?
 
If you agree with me that such a faith-based world view would be a disaster in matters related to science, medicine, the weather, and many other areas of your life, then why do you reject reason when it comes to determining the reality of supernatural religious claims?

The Creator (whoever or whatever he/she/it is) gave us a brain.  Let’s use it!  Let’s use reason in every aspect of our lives.  Let’s NOT despise it as Luther and other Lutherans tells us we should.
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2 thoughts on “Why do Lutherans use Reason in every aspect of Life except for Supernatural Religious Claims?

  1. Gary, it is apparent that you have not grasped the Lutheran teaching that in matters from “above” that is heavenly matters, reason is limited and quite fallible. However regarding matters “below”, earthly matters, we are capable to fully exercise our reason.

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  2. But why believe this? If reason is good enough to investigate the stars and planets (astronomy), why not use reason to investigate the one who is alleged to have made them?

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