The Big Question 27: What is Faith?
Oct 10, 2018 1011
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What is faith?
The way that non-Christians and Christians use the word “faith” is different. Non-Christians use “faith” to describe believing something with no evidence. And that’s confusing because when Christians talk about faith, that’s not what they mean that at all.
What Christians mean when they talk about faith is more about trust within a relationship.
Here’s how it works…
When our daughter Rebecca was little, I’d stand her up on our kitchen table, and then I would take a few steps back, and I’d say, “Jump!” She never hesitated. She would just launch herself off that table with a squeal of delight, fly through the air, right into my arms!
Did she have scientific evidence that I’d catch her? Did she calculate the parabolic trajectory of her body and the force with which it would land to see if I was strong enough to catch her? No. Because we’re talking about faith. Faith isn’t based on scientific evidence. Faith is based on a different kind of evidence. Faith is based on relational evidence.
It’s not worse than scientific evidence. It’s just different. The evidence that my daughter had that I would catch her was that I loved her, and that was all she needed.
Christians believe that the physical world around us is not all there is. We believe that there’s a spiritual world, and, because it isn’t material, it can’t be measured through scientific means. We believe that it’s there and we trust in God’s activity on our behalf.
In a way, faith has two parts to it. The first part is believing that something is true, and the second part is acting on that belief by trusting it.
That’s why Martin Luther King Jr said that “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
Faith is even more than just trusting; it is trusting a person – Jesus Christ. And one reason why God sent Jesus into the world is so that our faith need never be blind. He came as a real human being and lived among us. The historical facts are all there for his life, death, and even for his resurrection.
So, I reckon I’ve got a solid base of evidence for my faith.
At the end of the day, we all believe in something, whether we admit it or not. The question is, where will your belief lead you?
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