Ronald Brown was pastor of the Trinity Reformed Church, Grand Haven, Michigan.
June 1, 1962
Dr. Ronald P. Brown
Trinity Reformed Church
1340 South Ferry Street
Grand Haven, Michigan
Dear Dr. Brown:
Thank you for your letter of May 2nd. I appreciate the fact that you care to discuss philosophical issues.
I would not say that you are “of no use” to me, as you put it. I respect every human being who has a sincere interest in ideas. But I must say that you and I are not fighting the same battle. You seem to see the battle merely in political terms, as an issue of individualism versus collectivism. The battle I am fighting is more fundamental than that: it is the battle of reason versus mysticism.
I realize that there are two contradictory traditions in Christianity: one individualistic, the other collectivistic. But the real issue is epistemological: if you claim that your faith leads you to individualism, the collectivists can claim—with equal validity—that their faith leads them to collectivism. No argument, persuasion or proof is possible to either side—since “faith” and “proof” are incompatible concepts.
I suggest that you consider the question of whether today’s battle can be fought without a firm stand on the issue of epistemology.