Blind Faith is not Christian Faith
by Anthony Horvath
Richard Dawkins, among many others, have contended that ‘faith’ is believing what you know isn’t true. Less severe, but equally inaccurate, is the view that faith is a thing completely apart from evidence, or even in spite of the evidence. This view isn’t restricted to atheists. Unfortunately, many Christians themselves take that view. It is unfortunate because it is not true, it is not how the Scriptures actually present it, and it takes Christians out of discussions they should be involved in.
The simplest way to put it that would be accurate would be to understand ‘faith’ as including, front and center, the idea of ‘trust.’
Christian faith is not merely the confident belief that certain propositions are true. It isn’t even the confident belief that a God exists. The Scriptures forbid such a narrow understanding: “So you believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” James 2:19
Another passage puts it in better context: “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he awards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Real Christian faith includes and transcends beliefs in propositions and speaks to the trust that we have in God and our reliance on his nature (ie, most prominently, his goodness).
But the important thing to take note of here is that the Scriptures frequently appeal to evidence as a basis for trusting faith. God very much respects our need to have evidence. (see, for example, John 14:11) There is a point where trust is required, but this trust is based on a pattern that we have observed to hold true. In short, Biblical faith calls us to step out into the unknown, based on what is known.
Here we see that Biblical faith is not all that different than the kind of faith we have in all sorts of things, the main difference being the object of our faith. For example, let’s say that one’s wife wants to go out with friends some Saturday night…
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