19″Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. 21For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
24And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.
Acts 26 – Paul is defending himself before the puppet King Herod Agrippa and the Roman Governor Festus. When Festus accuses Paul of being insane because of his belief in the Gospel, (and most likely he was referring to the belief in the resurrection), Paul replies that what he has been saying is “true and rational”.
The Gospel is believed by faith but that does not make it irrational. The word means “sane, sensible “temperate,” “self-control,” of “balanced mind”… . Believing the Gospel is not the jettisoning of our mental capacities. It is the embracing of them and the use of them properly.
We often hear the charge that to believe in God and many of the doctrines of the Scriptures is just plain stupid. It is a stupid thing to say and reflects more of an ignorance about Christianity than it does any true assessment of it. But sadly, there are many Christians who seem to think that faith means not needing to think hard and love God with all their minds. Some even believe that hard mental activity interferes with living by faith.
Christianity is not just for intellectuals and there are many fine believers who are uneducated, mentally challenged, or unable to pursue the study of the things in the Scriptures that push us to hard thinking. But this does not mean that faith is irrational. It is not. Paul was a PhD of his day. He was no mental slouch. The ridicule of Festus did not deter him. “I speak true and rational words” he told his critic.
Today, as you read your Bible, pray to be able to understand it properly. Ask Him to help you do the hard mental work that some of the Scriptures often require of us. Be a Christian who loves God with heart, soul, MIND and strength.