Christianity is the only reasonable religion and only “reason” (LOGOS) can show us that advancing the truth by the force of violence negates the truth that we are trying to demonstrate.
That is what I got out of the Bishop of Rome Benedict XVI’s lecture on Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections. This is the speech that has caused an uproar in the Muslim world. On the most basic level, it’s an interesting history lesson about a dialogue that occurred in the 14th century between a leader of Persia and the Byzantine Emperor, even while the city of Byzantium was under seige by Muslims. As a result of the declaration that “reason” (LOGOS) is supreme, and violence cannot advance truth, riots have erupted in the Muslim world and churches have been bombed.
I read the first part to the speech (and skim read the remainder) and I think it is a good example of “reasonableness.” Of course, the speech’s rendering by the very unreasonable drive-by-media has blown it up into a fiasco that has angered many Muslims to violence. Of course, most of those reading the media reports have not actually read the speech itself.
I am interested in other responses to the speech — especially from my truly Reformed and Roman Catholic friends. Benedict makes some thought provoking comments about the Reformed faith and Kantian philosophy that have gone uncritiqued in the light of the Islamic uproar. It’s ironic that Muslims would respond to criticism of Islam as a violent religion with violence. It would be even more ironic if the truly reformed did not provide a reasonable response to the implied statement that many Protestants have “set aside thinking in order to make room for faith.”
Here is another link to the pope’s lecture: