The passage quoted from Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians is not lifted out of context nor placed in a setting that would tend to distort its meaning. Indeed it expresses the very essence of Paul’s spiritual philosophy and fully accords with the rest of the Epistle, and I might add, with the rest of Paul’s writings as we have them preserved in the New Testament. That type of theological rationalism that is so popular today would have been wholly foreign to the mind of the great apostle. He had not faith in man’s ability to comprehend truth apart from the direct illumination of the Holy Spirit.
I have just now used the word rationalism, and I must either retract it or justify its use in association with orthodoxy. The latter I think I shall have no trouble doing. For the textualism of our times is based upon the same premise as the old-line rationalism, that is, the belief that the human mind is the supreme authority in the judgment of truth. Or otherwise stated, it is confidence in the ability of the human mind to do that which the Bible declares it was never created to do and consequently is wholly incapable of doing. Philosophical rationalism is honest enough to reject the Bible flatly. Theological rationalism rejects it while pretending to accept it and in so doing puts out its own eyes.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10–11
The type of theological rationalism that is so popular today would have been wholly foreign to the mind of the great apostle.
Let us not trust in our own minds or reasoning abilities. Instead, Father, let us look to Your Spirit for illumination.