Why is faith so hard for smart people? I struggle with that question sometimes. There seems to be a vague prejudice out there that says you have to be rather dense to believe in all that stuff in the Bible. Do “they” know something “we” don’t know? Are they aware of some cosmic fact or formula that “proves” God doesn’t exist? Are they smarter than God?
There are plenty of smart people who are also faith-filled. Many of the popes were multi-lingual scholars, experts in their fields. Lots of scientists understand that they can explore creation and still be children playing at the feet of the Creator. The basis of the Big Bang Theory, the Expanding Universe Theory, was proposed by a Catholic Priest, Georges Lemaitre, in 1925. Theologian Peter Kreeft has commented that there are no conflicts between true Catholic doctrine and true scientific observations, none.
So the “conflict” between faith and reason is only a conflict if we want it to be. God doesn’t have a problem with us poking, prodding and postulating about His creation. He put it here for us to manage. It stands to reason that He also expects us to learn about His creation.
Perhaps the conflict isn’t between what’s real and what’s not. It is not a “faith-versus-reason,” argument. Maybe the real conflict is about who’s in charge. Maybe that’s what Jesus is talking about when He told us that we need to “become like children,” to enter the Kingdom. It’s a question of humility rather than a question of IQ. He isn’t telling us to close our eyes and be ignorant. He’s telling us to open our eyes and be amazed.