chapter  IV
HOW THEOLOGIANS REASON
Pages 24

OUR present debate between faith and philosophy revolves upon the language of religion rather than its activities or institutions, and in particular on those religious pronouncements which appear to be statements about God or other transcendent beings, but which, it is said, cannot really function as statements because there is no possible or even conceivable method of testing their truth. It is convenient to refer to them as theological statements, and in a former chapter it was argued that despite its figurative and parabolic character there is a real sense in which such language can be said to state facts. But to complete the inquiry we shall have to pay some attention to that kind of religious discourse which is theological in the more precise sense, and consider the technical language of theology and the methods of argument used by theologians. If we can show what they consider valid reasons for belief in a religious doctrine, we shall no doubt also discover what they consider invalid reasons for belief, and again what they consider valid reasons for disbelief; and it may then appear that theologians, and ordinary believers, too, insist that what is in fact believed would have been refuted if certain conceivable events had occurred:

Had Christ that once was slain Not burst his three-day prison Our faith had been in vain; But now hath Christ arisen.