Doesn’t the Bible Say True Faith is Blind?
by J Warner Wallace
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am an evidentialist; after all, I’m a detective. This is what I have done for a living for the past 25 years. I think it’s in my blood. But I sometimes wonder if my evidentialist DNA is distorting what I read in Scripture. Am I restricting my interpretations based on an evidentialist presupposition? I have come to understand the Biblical definition of faith to be a reasoned trust in light of the evidence. Jesus told us to trust his claims in light of the miracles that confirmed his words evidentially (John 14:11), and he spent 40 days with the disciples after the resurrection, providing them with many convincing proofs that he was alive (Acts 1:2-3). I’ve written about this evidential view of faith and I see it supported repeatedly on the pages of the New Testament. But I occasionally get an email from a podcast listener questioning the evidential nature of Christian belief. Here’s a common example:
I’m hoping you can help me with something. I tend to agree with your evidential approach to understanding the Bible, and I always cringe whenever people define faith as a blind belief in something. That said, there are several passages in scripture that, at face
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value, seem to be saying that faith is just that… Hebrews 11 starts by saying that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This seems to be saying that faith is made out of hopes, and that having faith is evidence enough. How do you reconcile verses such as these with your evidential approach to scripture?
This passage in Hebrews is often cited as an example of a different kind of Biblical faith; one that is hopeful, even though the evidence is of things “unseen”. It appears to be the closest Biblical statement affirming a “blind faith” that is not restricted to things that can be supported by evidence. But is that what this verse actually says? Let’s take a closer look at the passage…
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