You could say that the Christian journey began towards the direction of reason is the ultimate source of knowledge and truth, as advocated by the Greek society and Aristotle. However, before that swing of the pendulum reached its zenith, it quickly moved back in the non-reason direction under the auspices of Augustine giving the voice of Plato. This movement did continue until the zenith during the dark ages when reason was eventually despised and God was only known through the mystical (non-reason) approaches.
Then, a few hundred years later, with the Renaissance gaining full momentum, the pendulum began to swing in the opposite direction, towards the belief of an unfallen reason that we can have confidence in to lead to truth every time. It is hard to know when this swing reached the end as the end was expressed in different times and different ways. Surely Empiricism in Great Britain and the Enlightenment of the European mainland represented two of the higher points of reason. I see the zenith of this swing being in Descartes' statement Cogito ergo sum. It was the ultimate beginning point of pure reason alone.
This movement of course didn't suddenly fizzle and start the swing in the opposite direction. But when the whole of society caught up with the Enlightenment, we had the birth of modernism. Within it the hope that reason and science would solve all of our problems, including the problem of knowing God. Knowing God became a technique.
But of course that became empty for both the Christian and the secularist. The pendulum began to swing back towards non-reason two hundred years ago among the elite of society (the thinkers and writers) but didn't reach pop culture until the sixties.
Then, as the pendulum moved back to the direction of the non-reason and eventually to the anti-reason we had post-modernism among the secularists and the mysticism of the charismatic movement and the age of signs and wonders, which penetrated, in some form, all of evangelicalism and brought in a new mysticism within Catholicism.
While the height of Christian mysticism may have subsided a bit, I now find Christendom having great difficulty inserting proper reason back into the picture. Like I said in the beginning, we humans have great difficulty finding balance.
I now go to a well-educated church, and I like that. This is a thinking church. Yet, at the same time, I'm finding that many of the people, like is true throughout this age, cannot find spirituality without defining it as an anti-rational mysticism. Our main Sunday school class is now studying the "Great Christian Mystics." The approach is, these people of history, who had strange experiences, have a key to being spiritual.
I'm also in a small group Bible study. I'm enjoying it a great deal. Yet, once again, I have noticed that the conversation cannot be spiritual without being irrational. The best example is where scripture is used as a magic book. Rather than trying to know the history of the writer and what they intended to say, in their context, we are asked to feel the spirit take the words (like magic) and make it personal. Those words may have nothing to do with the original intent.
This was the norm during my evangelical days. We often threw opened the Bible, like a lucky charm, and looked at the first verse that we saw. We would take the words of that verse, like a whisper from God, totally divorced from the content, and make major life decisions on the perceived meaning.
Tonight I'm leading the group. We are studying Psalms and I'll trying my best to do my research on the background of that particular writing and the original intent of the author. I can draw from that story principles that apply to all of us. I can also visit the human emotions of the author and draw major life lessons from that. But I will not venture into the magical of taking a few words, scrambling them, and allowing them to conjure up meanings for me personally that was not intended.
There has to be a balance. I do want to speak the voice of reason, but not the unfallen reason of the Empiricists, but a limited reason. A reason that can take you most of the way to truth, but not always the whole way.
The universe is filled to brim with the mystical God of scriptures. But is should not be based on emotional feelings or psychological phenomena. The mysteries of God include the fact we are here. All the systems of life are a mystery. Dark matter, dark energy, the hugeness of the universe, the complexities of all that is. This is the mystery of God.
I really think it is time to try and turn the pendulum back, but to avoid the extremes. Can God work outside the natural laws of physics and psychology? He could, but why would he want to? Is this real universe not a glorious place in itself? Why is it seen as nonspiritual to find the rational answer to the things of life? God is the author of logic, reason and the mind. These are His gifts and not the domain of the lord of darkness.