“I Just Don’t Have Your Faith”
by Saints and Sceptics
Easily the most disappointing reaction to the Gospel is an apologetic: “I’m sorry, but I just don’t have your faith.” Faith is a little like taste on this view. Some people like opera, some don’t. Some prefer spicy meals, others prefer sweet. You can’t help who you are and you can’t help what you like. So if some people have faith, and others don’t, it’s no-one’s fault. God won’t mind.
After all, faith, like love, is blind. If we can’t help who we fall in love with, then we can’t help it when we fall out of love. And if we can’t help falling out of love, then we can’t help it if we lose – or never gain – faith. And perhaps it is a sign of strength not to need faith; after all, isn’t religion just a crutch to help us through life?
The difficulty here is that the respondent has not really understood the Gospel and completely misunderstands what the Gospel means by faith. Faith is trusting another – in this case God. We can, of course, be completely irrational in who we trust and blindly follow those who do not deserve it (see our current election cycle!) But trust ought to be rational; we should have reasons for following another.
As we have mentioned repeatedly on this site, the Gospel reasons with unbelief; it does not just preach at it. There is excellent public evidence for the truth of the Gospel. And beyond this, there are personal, existential, practical and experiential reasons for trusting Christ.
We do not need the Gospel to reveal that, morally, we are made of crooked timber; we further know that we are doomed to physical annihilation and ultimate insignificance unless we can put our trust in something stronger than ourselves. Indeed, we need someone stronger than time and space, someone greater than the physical universe, to satisfy our hunger for significance. We need someone who can…
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