An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 227 of 277
'How shall they hear, who do not understand, and how can faith come, if
the truth presented be not realized?'.
To the Ethiopian, Philip said:
'Understandest thou what thou readest?' (Acts 8:30).
To the Pharisees, the Lord said:
'Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My
word' (John 8:43).
Solomon said:
'Knowledge is easy unto him that hath understanding' (Prov. 14:6).
While mere reasoning may be a mark of infidelity, faith is never
unreasonable, nor does it discredit reason.  In one of the most spiritual
passages in Romans the apostle speaks of 'reasonable' (logikos) service (Rom.
12:1).  We read of Paul 'reasoning' (dialegomai), 'opening' (dianoigo), and
'alleging' (paratithemi) out of the Scriptures concerning Christ, and his
epistles abound with such signs of argument as the frequent use of the words
'for', 'wherefore', 'for this cause', and the like.  While no soul will ever
miss salvation because of inability to appreciate a syllogism, the teacher of
truth may nevertheless sometimes err and lead his hearers astray if he has no
true understanding of what constitutes valid argument.
There is indeed room for a book that will do for logic in the
Scriptures, what Dr. E. W. Bullinger's Figures of Speech used in the Bible
did for figurative language in the Bible.  To attempt such a work is beyond
our present powers, but though these notes are somewhat fragmentary and the
range limited, they may be of service in quickening the reader's interest in
this important matter.
Ability to answer the question correctly, What constitutes a valid
argument? will confer a double blessing, viz., it will provide us with the
means whereby we shall be able to appreciate more clearly the divine
arguments of the Scriptures, and it will enable us to appraise the truth and
detect the errors and fallacies in the arguments presented in the teaching of
Upon the ground of the all -sufficiency of faith, some object to the
attempt to analyse the processes of correct thinking, while others refuse an
analysis of logical processes upon the ground that common sense is
sufficient.  Archbishop Whately says:
'The generality have a strong predilection in favour of common sense,
except in those points in which they, respectively, possess the
knowledge of a system of rules: but in these points they deride anyone
who trusts unaided common sense.  A sailor, e.g. will perhaps despise
the "pretensions" of medical men, and prefer treating a disease by
"common sense"; but he would ridicule the proposal of navigating a ship
by common sense, without regard to the maxims of nautical art'.
Logic is the name given to the science of reasoning.  It displays the
principles on which argument is conducted, and tabulates certain rules which