Faith, Reason and the Existence of God by Denys Turner

By Denys Turner

Denys Turner argues that there are purposes of religion why the life of God may be inspiration rationally demonstrable and that it truly is beneficial revisiting the theology of Thomas Aquinas to work out why. The proposition that the lifestyles of God is demonstrable by means of rational argument is doubted by means of approximately all philosophical opinion at the present time and is assumed via so much Christian theologians to be incompatible with Christian religion. Turner's strong problem to the existing orthodoxies may be of curiosity to believers in addition to non-believers.

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That much, at any rate cannot fairly be construed as an ‘onto-theology’ in Heidegger’s sense. Indeed, Bonaventure’s emphatic declaration both that God is ‘Being’ and that God cannot be known as a being constitutes a neat reversal of Heidegger’s description of the ‘onto-theological’ logic, according to which, he says, ‘metaphysics thinks about beings as being . . Metaphysical representation owes this sight to the light of Being. , that which such thinking experiences as light, does not come within the range of metaphysical thinking; for metaphysics always represents beings only as beings’4 – which Bonaventure clearly does not do.

Just because if it is true that Jesus’ body was raised from the dead then necessarily there are no bodily remains resting in Palestine, it does not follow that there being no remains of Jesus’ dead body in Palestine is a necessary and not an empirical truth. As Thomas Aquinas says, so long as the proposition ‘Socrates is sitting’ is true, then necessarily Socrates is sitting. But it does not follow from this that Socrates’ sitting is necessary, for ‘Socrates is sitting’ is plainly a contingent truth.

The ‘formal’ and ‘material’ objects of faith and reason As a first step in setting out how this argument will proceed, let us note a crucial ambiguity in Kerr’s conclusion from the propositions of the ‘nouvelle th´eologie’ that the ‘God exists’ of the philosopher’s reason ‘means something radically different’ from the ‘God exists’ affirmed by the Christian ‘under the conditions of faith’. This is partly, but only partly, true, and to see in what sense it is true and in what sense false, we can ask: why does the Vatican Council, in distinguishing what it calls ‘two orders of knowledge’, distinguish them not only in respect of their source – the one being the product of reason, the other of divine faith and revelation – but also in respect of their ‘object’?

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