Does the New Testament Affirm “Faith Without Reason”?
By Thomas Andrew McPhail
It has come to my attention via a response to a comment on “Atheism, Belief, and the Traditional Understanding of Knowledge” that I ought to address a widespread misunderstanding of the biblical understanding of faith and the use of quotations from the Bible. So, rather than respond to the following individual’s statement in the comments section, I have decided to make it the topic of my first post wherein I am not introducing myself. Understandably, I will not be able to get too much into the details as this is a blog post and not a book.
Mogg (and anyone to whom the following may be applicable),
It is unfortunate you and the rest of the “non-believers” have had to interact with the people you are describing–that is, those who have used Hebrews 11.1 in such a manner and who have said, “Just have faith.” As for the latter, I agree with your stating that such exhortation is tantamount to wishful thinking.
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As for the New Testament quote you have given, when it is properly interpreted, it does not begin to contradict the understanding of faith to which Chris, myself, and many other Christians subscribe. The call to “faith without reason” is not found anywhere in the New Testament. The most prominent use of faith in the New Testament is that of trust, or belief in, which base on intellectual assent, or belief that. This is further based on one’s ability even to understand any given proposition. In such a case, ”faith without reason” is untenable, as reason is the necessary vehicle by which one arrives at faith–that is, trust…
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