The ever-excellent James McGrath comes out with another zinger of a post on why the distinction between “trusting the Bible” and “trusting human reason” is, in his words “utter bunk”:
There are two main reasons why the oft-repeated contrast between “the Bible” on the one hand and “human reason” on the other is nonsensical. The first is that human reason cannot be bypassed when it comes to the Bible. To give just a couple of examples, without human reason, you would not have English translations of the text. Without your own human reason, you could not make sense of words on the page…
Many fundamentalist readers of Scripture will tell you that they do not “interpret” the Bible - they merely read it. This claim too is utter bunk. Their human reason (or “skill” as interpreters, to put it another way) can be seen quite clearly kicking in when Jesus tells them that they must give up all their possessions to be his disciples. It is visible kicking into action when Paul’s language about justification by faith apart from works of the Law is allowed to trump those passages that depict judgment on the basis of works. It is there when someone claims to know that the six days in Genesis 1 are literal but the dome is a metaphor. But apart from these obvious instances, it is there all along, because apart from “human reason” there is no reading and no comprehension.
As an aside, I find it funny that James was immediately accused of “namecalling” for referring to “fundmentalists,” a title the authors of “The Fundamentals of Faith” gladly ascribed to themselves.