I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this also I believe, that unless I believe, I will not understand.
– Anselm of Canterbury (1033 – 1109)
Anselm was a medieval archbishop of Canterbury, and a brilliant scholar, philosopher and theologian. Among other things, he is famous for devising a logical proof for the existence of God called “the ontological argument.” Yet this highly intelligent man realized that spiritual truth cannot be grasped by reason alone. Only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to see and enable our hearts to understand the things of God. Anselm here reminds me to yield my intellect to God, for only then will I be able to use it to its fullest capacity, as He intended it to be used.
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (NIV)