The proper use of reason and philosophy in theological discourse rests upon recognition of their place and the limits of their competence. Truth, comments Turretin, cannot be set against truth–rather, one truth may transcend another. Thus truths of sense stand below truths of reason (infra rationem), truths of the intellect in immediate relation to truths of reason (juxta rationem), and truths of faith above those of reason (supra rationem). Once this pattern is recognized and the hierarchy of truth acknowledged, then rational truth can be used in theological discourse: “grace does not destroy nature but perfects it, nor does supernatural revelation abrogate the natural, but cleanses it.”
Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, vol. I, 387.
We maintain…that reason should not be heard when it complains of its incapacity to comprehend the mysteries of faith: for, since it is finite, there is no surprise that many things concerning the infinite cannot be grasped by reason–so that to reject a mystery because it is incomprehensible to reason, is to offend against reason itself. It is in this sense that reason is to be made captive (2 Cor 10:5).
Benedict Pictet, quoted in Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Richard A. Muller, 386.
Truth is one and simple, whether conveyed by theology or by philosophy, and is true consistently wherever it is presented (for indeed the distinction of discipline does not multiply truth). Therefore truth is not contrary to itself whether presented in theology or in philosophy.
Bartholomaus Keckermann, quoted in Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Richard A. Muller, 385.
The scientific method was pioneered by men like Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a devout Christian who believed in the supernatural, yet was able to outline and test some founding principles upon which scientific discoveries could be made to learn more about the natural world and its processes. Through the use of objective methodologies to observe and predict theories concerning the natural world, wonderful discoveries have been made and life on earth for humans has been measurably improved. We have also been able to learn quite a bit more about the world around us. Yet observing the world around us, how it works, and according to what laws it operates cannot tell us precisely how any of these things originated. On this question, nature is silent. There are many signs pointing to an Intelligent Designer, like the uniformity and universality of its laws, and the overall order and harmony of nature. Yet we cannot learn much more than that from nature. Here is where evolutionary science is flawed. It attempts to connect the dots of the observed phenomena in nature to provide a theory of origins, but it cannot accurately reconstruct the origin of anything of significance in the universe (separate classes and species of animals, stars, natural laws, etc.) because there were no modern scientists present to observe when the universe was formed. Science was never meant to answer such a question. If natural scientists were honest, they would admit that although the universe points to a universal Creator and Designer, for the answer as to how precisely, how long ago, over what length of time, and in what order it was all created, we have to look elsewhere. Science was not designed to answer those questions, and so it cannot. The natural world doesn’t tell us. The answer to this question requires supernatural revelation. For scientists to try to answer the question, “how did it all get here?” is to step beyond their available data, operating principles, and field of expertise. In evolution, natural science has bitten off more than it can chew.