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Discussion Forum : General Topics : What does the phrase reverent reason" mean?

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Compass
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Joined: 2006/4/29
Posts: 4


 What does the phrase reverent reason" mean?

Can someone help me grasp a phrase found in a quote from A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy)

Tozer states, “What has God disclosed about Himself that the reverent reason can comprehend?”

What does reverent reason mean?

Thanks!

 2014/1/8 10:42Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

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 Re: What does the phrase reverent reason" mean?

Hi Compass,

My understanding of his phrase would be as follows.
To reason is to understand and work out with our minds. By 'Reverent reason', I would take it that Tozer was meaning using our reason in a way that that is reverent (i.e. respectful) of who God is.

Hope that helps!


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Dave

 2014/1/8 11:09Profile
Sidewalk
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Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 701
San Diego

 Re: What does the phrase reverent reason" mean?

There are aspects of our faith that the world considers strange and unreasonable, and many of us were of such a mind as well before a conversion experience. The things of God are completely reasonable- but the world can't receive it. Jesus warned about casting pearls before swine, sharing the secrets of the Father's wonder before unrepentant sin-filled mockers just doesn't work.

So when a believer is confronted with a challenge, reverent reason is that part of his thinking that responds from the abiding inside of the Holy Spirit.

Reverent reason delights in the things God loves, is repulsed by the things He hates. Reverent reason operating in a Godly man will keep him from a multitude of sins, and direct him into a full schedule of righteous works.

Tozer was a treasure trove of wisdom!


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Tom Cameron

 2014/1/8 11:24Profile
Compass
Member



Joined: 2006/4/29
Posts: 4


 Re:

Aloha HeyDave
Thank you very much. I really appreciate your comment.

 2014/1/8 12:16Profile
Compass
Member



Joined: 2006/4/29
Posts: 4


 Re:

Aloha Sidewalk,
Thanks for your great insight into this phrase. I appreciate the comment and it has helped me.

 2014/1/8 12:20Profile
tbsounde2
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Joined: 2009/2/11
Posts: 179
Los Angeles, CA

 Re: What does the phrase reverent reason" mean?

Hi Compass,

Definitely love that book, was so blessed by it! Praying that you will be blessed as well on your wonderful journey through it's pages!

I decided to go back and look up the phrase you mentioned to get the context and this is what I found (quote from book):

(start quote)

”What is God like?” If by that question we mean “What is God like in Himself?” there is no answer. If we mean “What has God disclosed about Himself that the reverent reason can comprehend?” there is, I believe, an answer both full and satisfying. For while the name of God is secret and His essential nature incomprehensible, He in condescending love has by revelation declared certain things to be true of Himself. These we call His attributes.

(end quote)

I think the key to understanding the statement "reverent reason" is found in the latter part of the excerpt above where he says "For while the name of God is secret and His essential nature incomprehensible, He in condescending love has by revelation declared certain things to be true of Himself. These we call His attributes."

There are several important premises laid out in the quote:
1) Understanding and acknowledging that God is infinite and eternal and thus can never be fully grasped by our finitude. Implied in this understanding is that we must then approach Him with much humility, being aware of our limitation and our ever present need of Him in everything we do.
2) God's love is a mind-blowingly humble thing offered to us in such a way that it "condescends" to our level in such a way that we can understand it, while still being way beyond us at the same time.
3) God chose to make Himself known to us by revealing to us His attributes, which as found elsewhere in the book is found primarily through God's Word (the Bible).

So in other words, reverent reason is relentlessly pursuing the knowledge of the Holy God with much humility (acknowledgment of our continual lack and thus a great almost insatiable need of Him), applying all our ability (heart, soul, mind, and strength) with great diligence in knowing Him while still remembering that He is a Holy, infinite, measureless God (while we are not) and beyond our reason, but still pursuing because He wants us to know Him and pursue Him, namely through His written revelation that speaks of His measureless and boundless attributes. And because we are finite and prone to error (understanding this is the humility part), we don't depend on our own imaginations or speculations or even experiences per se but rely on how God chose to reveal Himself, which is through His Word that primarily is about His attributes and not just history, or rules and commandments, etc. That everything in the Bible (every historical detail, commandments, prophesy, etc) ultimately is about who God is and what He is like, ie His attributes.

Hope that helps!

Will


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Will

 2014/1/8 16:35Profile
Sidewalk
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Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 701
San Diego

 Re: Reverent reason

Good words, Will!

My personal intellectual beginning with spiritual matters is James 3:17 where we read these words (paraphrased a bit)

"The wisdom which is from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, and open to reason..."

It is enormously helpful to me to know that the God who calls me to obedience, service, fellowship, and eternal life is a God of truth and reason. Thus I do not need to know all things or understand all things to completely trust Him no matter what.

Thank you Compass for bringing this to discussion!


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Tom Cameron

 2014/1/8 19:40Profile
Compass
Member



Joined: 2006/4/29
Posts: 4


 Re:

Hello Will
Wow! Definitely helpful. That was a beautiful commentary. It has enhanced the concept of maintaining a lofty concept of God. With all the responses from you, Sidewalk, and HeyDave, I now have a good grasped of the phrase and A.W. Tozer's golden quote.

Thanks again and may God richly bless you!
Compass

 2014/1/8 22:20Profile
tbsounde2
Member



Joined: 2009/2/11
Posts: 179
Los Angeles, CA

 Re:

This was definitely a pleasant and edifying thread! It's so refreshing to have godly conversations with fellow siblings in the family of God! Hope you guys have a blessed and joy filled week in the Lord :)


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Will

 2014/1/9 13:16Profile





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