A sixteen year old girl with red hair and soft porcelain skin was sitting on a bench in the park reading an old, very used, book. The girl’s name was Meggy, and she was reading her bible. As she read she heard the clicking of bicycle spokes come near her from down the path. The bike stopped in front of her and she herd the familiar voice of Harry, a boy from her class, call out to her.
“What are you reading, Carrot?” He said to her in a teasingly.
“My bible” she replied as she looked up at him smiling.
“Do you really believe in all that God stuff?” He asked a confused look on his face.
She squinted her olive green eyes at him and answered, “Of course I do!”
“Why?” He asked, “How can you prove that what that book says is true?”
“Well, it says in John 17:17b ‘God’s word is truth’ and the Bible is God’s word so it must be true!” She answered confidently.
He rolled his eyes saying, “I meant using anything but the Bible!”
“Oh, well, ummm…” Meggy replied, at a loss for words.
Many Christians are like Meggy: full of faith in the Bible and God, but have no way of proving it. And when asked to they immediately go to the Bible as proof. But to others that is not a very convincing argument to believe in the Bible or in God. Saint Anselm’s friends had the same opinion, and asked him to write to prove God and Scripture through reason and without using scripture as proof. In the preface of his Monologium he sets out, upon his friend’s request, to prove God and the scripture without using the scripture to prove it. He says “It is in accordance with their wish, rather than with my ability that they have prescribed such a form for the writing of this meditation; in order that nothing in scripture should be argued on the authority of scripture itself.” Some people say that this is wrong, that scriptures must be used, and only the scriptures, to prove God. But how is that possible? One could not say that Hobbits are real because the book “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkin says that they are real. It is circular reasoning, which is illogical and flawed. So how would one go about proving God, without using the scriptures? Through reason. Which is precisely what St. Anselm set out to do. And he was not wrong to do so, rather it is important to search of a reason for the scripture and Christians should work to do so in the modern day.
Saint Anselm was not incorrect to attempt to prove God through reason. One of the ways he attempted to prove that God is real, through reason, is saying that God is that “than which nothing greater can be conceived”. At first glance this one sentence looks as though it is complex and confusing and someone must be very knowledgeable to understand it. But that is not the case. St. Anselm says that something that abides in our minds and also in reality is better than it merely being in our minds. He uses the analogy of the painter to explain this. He says “When a painter first conceives of what he will afterwards preform, he has it...