Is The Bible Against Logic?

Is The Bible Against Logic?

In our world of skepticism and unbelief, many Christians have adopted an “I don’t believe in logic, I believe the Bible” kind of philosophy. The reason I believe this retreat has been made is due to the constant retort from our modern culture of “we don’t need faith, we have logic and science”. We have allowed our culture to convince us that logic and Christianity are directly opposed to each other. Of course, since we view it as either logic or Christ, we are going to throw logic out for the sake of our dear Messiah. Yet, I reject this whole modern notion of logic and Christ being two options that one must choose to the negation of the other. In fact, I think they are so directly related, that if you reject logic, you reject Christ and vice versa.

Why is this? The first reason is that Christ is the very standard and bases for logic. All rules of logic and thought have their grounding in the very nature and being of Christ himself. The second reason is that the Bible assumes and constantly uses logic throughout its pages. I want to look at one particular instance found in 1 Corinthians. Paul under the inspiration of God is using or assuming an If-Then syllogism. That’s not a word we use every day, but the concept behind it is something we have been using since childhood.

First, what’s a syllogism? A syllogism is a logical argument made up of a major general premise, a minor specific premise, and a logical conclusion from those premises. Here is a common simple example…

1. All men are mortal.
2. Elvis is a man.
3. Therefore, Elvis is mortal.

As you can see, a syllogism argues from the general to the specific. If ALL men die and Elvis is one of those men, then Elvis will die.

Now, let’s look at the passage of Scripture in 1 Corinthians…

 

Now if Christ is preached that He rose from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not risen. If Christ has not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we would then be found false witnesses of God, because we have testified that God raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up, if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ is not raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:12-17

Look at that beautiful if-then logic that Paul uses to show the absurdities of these peoples beliefs. He argues from the general to the specific.

“For if the dead do not rise, then Christ has not been raised.”

Granted, Paul doesn’t put it into a two premise-conclusion syllogism. Yet, I think underlying Paul is clearly the same reasoning pattern.

Premise 1: If dead men do not rise.
Premise 2: And Christ was a dead man.
Conclusion: Then Christ didn’t rise.

He shows that if they want to continue believing the first premise, logically they are forced to say Christ didn’t rise. Which they would have found unacceptable, thus forcing them to change their premises to meet the facts. Notice, Paul continues using logic from his first deduction to show where they are forced to logically go if they don’t forsake such an erroneous premise.

 

Premise 1: Dead men do not rise.
Premise 2: Christ was a dead man.
Conclusion: Therefore, Christ does not rise.

Premise 1: Christ didn’t rise.
Premise 2: We preach that Christ did rise.
Conclusion: Therefore, we are liars.

Premise 1: The testimony of Christ rising is false.
Premise 2: Your faith is based on that testimony.
Conclusion: Therefore, your faith is in vain and you are lost.

Now, none of those conclusions are options for these people, so Paul forces them to change that one vital premise to an affirmation of the resurrection of the dead. Which was Paul’s whole goal and he logically succeeded.

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