Faith and Facts

blind faith

by Greg Koukl

I don't like the word "faith." Not because faith isn't valuable, but because it's often deeply misunderstood. "Faith" in this twisted sense is what you use when all reason is against you. It's religious wishful thinking, in which one squeezes out spiritual hope by intense acts of sheer will. People of "faith" believe the impossible. People of "faith" believe that which is contrary to fact. People of "faith" believe that which is contrary to evidence. People of "faith" ignore reality.

I think part of the confusion is because Christians are often told to ignore circumstances, meaning that we're not to get overwhelmed or discouraged by them because God is bigger than our troubles. "Have faith in God," we're told. I think that's good counsel as far as it goes, but sometimes it breeds misunderstanding, implying that faith is a blind leap that has no relationship to fact.

Some suggest we cannot find facts to support our faith, nor is it preferable to try. Faith is not the kind of thing that has anything to do with facts, they say. If we have evidence to prove what we believe, then that takes away from real faith.

Somehow these people think that genuine faith is eviscerated by knowledge and evidence. We've made a virtue out of believing against the evidence, as if that's what God has in mind for us. This is all wrong…


Stand to Reason: Faith and Facts