Monday, October 29, 2012


What comes to mind when someone mentions the word faith? A synonym for religion? Belief in God? If you're a Christian, Hebrews 11:1?

It's not uncommon for a word to hold a variety of nuanced definitions. Love would be a classic example. So the goal here is not to try and pigeonhole the meaning of faith. But one poor definition is gaining popularity in the psyche of culture: "belief without evidence."

Many pit faith against fact, as if faith were an ugly second cousin to the supermodel of our modern, scientific age. However, faith is not the opposite of reason, logic and thought. Faith is an expectation--the standard model of hope.

When compared to the scientific method, there is actually a lot of similarity to genuine faith. The hallmark of science is repeatability of measurable phenomenon. The apple falls every time you drop it. As counterintuitive as it sounds, faith works the same way. Many balk at this notion because they cannot test God [Matt 4:7]. Of course, this is the fundamental problem with human nature. Because God will not do our bidding, because we can't domesticate him, because he will not bow down and worship us, we reject and refuse him. This does not mean faith is irrational; it means that God is sovereign.

Even though we may not be able to experiment on God and manipulate outcomes to our expectation, he is more reliable than the very laws of nature he created. He has revealed that he does not change: he is the same yesterday, today and forever.

God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
[Numbers 23:19]

God is faithful. We can trust God's Word; we can trust his promises. Everything God has spoken has come to pass, and faith is the expectation that God will keep his Word in the future too. As we observe the history of his action, we gain a confidence that God will right all wrongs [Rev 21:4], Christ will return [Matt 24:30], and anyone who believes in him will have eternal life [John 3:16].

Consider a non-religious analog. Everybody expects tomorrow...because of yesterday. Yet the future is not here that we can touch it, taste it or measure it in any way. But that does not mean that a belief in tomorrow is belief without evidence. Having faith in God is no more unreasonable than believing that tomorrow is coming.

We see everything that God has done: the covenants he's made, the prophesies that have come true, the incarnation of God himself. We see all that and trust the promises he makes about the future--about our tomorrow.

Christians are not called to turn off their brains. No, we get to use them with joyful hope that thinking actually has real meaning and an eternal impact. We use our brains knowing God will resurrect them and keep us in relationship with him forever.

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