Experiencing an encounter with God may lead us closer to God, but we need to be rational in our thinking and have sensible interpretation of the Bible.
When we take out reasoning from our spiritual journey, well, I feel we end up living in a bubble and separating ourselves from reality. Yes, there’s a sense that we are set apart, but how can we transform our community and the world when we are so set apart, we have nothing to do with society outside of the church’s membership roll?
I believe reason helps us to discern who God is and what God’s will for us is.
But then, there are those who rely on reason and reason alone.
I once had someone try to explain to me the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000. The pastor was telling me that it would be logically impossible to feed 5000 people with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. The real story wasn’t that Jesus took that little amount of food and fed everyone, but that the boy’s generosity in giving the disciples his lunch inspired the people to share their own lunch with those who did not have food.
I remember thinking to myself, then what’s the point of having miracles if we’re going to try to make them logical? Isn’t that the whole point of a miracle? That it goes beyond our way of knowing things?
If that’s the case, why not go the Thomas Jefferson route and rewrite the New Testament without the miracle (or “magic”) stories?
When Wesley had his Aldersgate experience, he did not have a strange warming of his head, but of his heart.
We cannot rely on reason alone because we may just well enough reason ourselves into thinking that God does not exist. We cannot rely on experience alone, because we need to be rational (yet still radical) people of faith.
Jesus said that we are to love God with all our hearts and our minds, not one or the other.