Faith humbles itself before God and clings to his Word as the source of wisdom and truth. Reason, on the other hand, in its corruption and pride, always makes the mistake of exalting its very limited experience and equating it with omniscience. When Luther says that reason judges by the "isolated instances and beginnings" of evil, he points to a basic weakness of the Aristotelian and scholastic approach to truth. It is the very nature of inductive reasoning that most of its universals are theoretical constructions. Reason is not able to acquire universal truth just because man is not god. the experience of man is always limited to isolated moments (puncta et pricipia) in the vast expanse of time and space. Even at their highest reaches the senses can acquire knowledge that is merely fragmentary. Self-evident as this is, men in practice tend to forget it.
...But again we must call attention to the corruption and depravity of fallen reason. Instead of viewing the data of experience as precious gifts of God, who has given us all things richly to enjoy, men exalt their limited experience to the point where they consider themselves competent to sit in judgment over God.
...Having done this, it proceeds to permit its fabricated universals to sit in judgment on God and his Word.
From The Foolishness of God by Siegbert Becker (c) 1982 Northwestern Publishing House (www.nph.net). All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.