Vol.II No.III Pg.2
April 1965

Intellectual Honesty

Robert F. Turner

While in school I had many discussions with my teachers on the subject of Evolution and like materialistic concepts. I was frequently reminded, "Now Mr. Turner, we must maintain intellectual honesty". To this I agree.

But the Prof. viewed man as having the highest peak of intellect, hence the final judge of truth. To him all authority was, in the final analysis, subjective. I, using my intellect, found reason to believe in a higher power, a greater intellect than man's. With such a faith, it is completely reasonable to expect a revelation of His will. This we have in the Bible.

Since God's will is the product of intellect superior to man's, we can only believe the revelation. To expect to prove, by human intelligence, that which transcends man's level, is extremely illogical. Ultimate authority answers only to itself.

In a choice between man's speculative theories and God's revelation, "intellectual honesty" demands that I accept the latter. Further, I must not compromise, or seek to rationalize God's word in an effort to bring this into harmony with man's theories. To do so is less than "intellectual honesty" -- for it stamps my confession of faith with hypocrisy. Nor are these principles limited in application to atheism. If we truly believe in the all-sufficiency of God's word, with the scheme of redemption and divine pattern for the church revealed therein, we can not lightly regard man's tampering with these things. Many who say they believe obedience to the Lord's commands is necessary, ignore his command to be baptized. Others say they believe in congregational independence, yet they condone and support inter-congregational activities -- and prove themselves "intellectually dishonest".

Once God's Word is accepted as our standard in religion the human intellect is limited to interpretive study. We do not seek to judge the law, or our brother -- save by God's law. We wish to understand the law and obey it (JAM.4:11-12). We call upon our brother to do the same, in order to save his soul (1TI.2:4). We must be honest with ourselves before we will be honest with God and others.