Study Notes: On the Role of the Rational Mind in Theology

As I read this short piece, through, I came across this sentence, “This is not to denigrate the rational but to recognize its limits.” With little effort it drew to mind several other authors’ works. Neither Jacques Ellul and especially Marcelo Gleiser would favor my drawing positive connections among between their works and Fr. Sergei’s article. Yet Dr. Ellul, a deceased French Sociologist, who was also a devout Protestant, and Dr. Gleiser, an astrophysicist, speak of this incompleteness and the necessity of owning it. Add on top of that Panayiotis Nellas’s work, “Deification if Christ” and you have a hodgepodge of thoughts and prayers. Each author’s works speak in one fashion or another toward Fr. Sergei’s thoughts on this page.

Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov

Does the rational mind play a major role in our experience of God or in how well we can know God? Should we primarily rely on the academic study of theology in order to get closer to God? I love images, so consider this: it takes an active brain and a mind in order for me to experience the presence of a puppy. If I have no brain or if my mind is defective I may have problems or even be completely unable to experience the presence of a puppy. On the other hand, I do not have to know or understand how the puppy works in order to experience his presence. I do not have to have a Ph.D. in biology, or to dissect my puppy in order to experience him. Mephistopheles went even further and proposed that when it comes to a living being, to dissect is to…

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