Blind faith is not Biblical faith

By Joel Furches

Noted British philosopher and humanist Bertrand Russell had this to say of the practice of “faith”:

“Where there is evidence, no one speaks of ‘faith’. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.”

Allaboutreligion.org defines Biblical Faith this way :

“Faith is acceptance of what we cannot see but feel deep within our hearts… For Christians, believing is not seeing… Why do we believe, because the Bible tells us so. We were not there when Jesus was crucified, yet we believe. We were not there when Jesus rose again, yet we believe.

“…This is the theological virtue known as faith, believing what we did not see because we know it in our hearts to be true.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives this definition of Faith:

“Firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust.”

Often Christians feel that they are forced to choose between blind religious trust or intellectual skepticism in opposition to scripture. They either believe or they disobey. Asking questions and seeking support for their beliefs becomes a form of doubt and is seen as a weakness.

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The classic teaching on the subject of faith in the Bible comes from the book of Hebrews, and specifically chapter 11 which begins with this definition of faith:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Many take this as support to the “belief without evidence” definition of faith.

Among the potential problems with this view of faith is the way it impacts the process Biblical interpretation itself. If faith is, indeed, a spiritual conviction that defies evidential support, then one is free to interpret scriptural passages based on what they feel the passage means. When someone challenges them to back their interpretation up with such tools as cross-referencing or contextual support, that person is asking for evidence, defying their faith and insulting their spiritual conviction. This is exactly the trap that one falls into if one reads Hebrews 11:1 without considering the context in which it is given…

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