Saturday, September 22, 2012
Given Evidence and Reason, Why Faith?
Question: If evidence and reason are essential parts of faith, I don’t see why God should demand faith at all. Why not give us the proof of everything? To have to take that step of faith seems unreasonable to me.
Response : The answer to your question is dictated by our own limitations, not because of some unreasonable demand that God makes. In order for everything to be proved and reasoned out for us, we would have to be equal to God. Obviously we are not: We are finite and God is infinite. We simply don’t have the capacity to understand everything about God and His universe. Therefore, we need to trust Him when He tells us about things that we cannot fully comprehend. That’s where faith comes in.
What we can understand of the universe and of our accountability to God from reason and our conscience is sufficient to point us in the right direction. Knowing on the basis of the evidence that God exists, we ask Him to reveal Himself to us and to show us His will for our lives. We are willing to trust Him in whatever He tells us, even though we cannot understand it all. We discover (as we shall see) that He has spoken to us in the Bible, and very clearly and comprehensively.
Faith Reveals a Universe Beyond Human Comprehension
True faith opens to us a knowledge of God and His truth that we could not otherwise discover. Such is the value of faith in God. Once we know Him and have confidence that we are indeed hearing from Him, then we understand His truth by believing what He says. As a result, we can know and understand what would otherwise be impossible for us to grasp. For example, the Bible declares:
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews:11:3)
These words, penned nearly two thousand years ago, clearly tell us that the universe was made out of an invisible substance. No one at that time nor during the many centuries that followed had the scientific knowledge to provide the evidence to support this statement. The proof had to wait until modern science had caught up with what the Bible had said 1,800 years earlier.
Today we know that the entire universe is composed of an invisible substance called energy. In spite of the brilliant advancements of science, however, though we know much about energy, we still don’t know exactly what it is. Yet by faith the believer knew all he needed to know: that God spoke the universe into existence by His infinite power and that He made it out of something that is invisible.
That these words are found in the Bible is one of many reasons to believe it rather than any of the other scriptures that are sacred to the world’s many religions. By contrast, those scriptures, far from containing statements that science can only confirm and never refute (as is the case with the Bible), contain numerous ridiculous ideas that reflect the level of understanding of mankind at the time and of the culture when and where they were written.
It was once believed that the earth was flat and was supported on the back of a tortoise floating in a sea. The Greeks thought that Atlas, a giant, held the universe in his arms. The Egyptian account of creation involved gods (such as the sun god, which was born on a flower), some of whom were part animal and part human. Plato thought the world was a living being and that earthquakes were caused when it shook itself. The Bible, though written in the same time period and by men who lived in these same cultures, is completely free of such myths. Even the Qur’an, of far more recent origin, contains Arabian myths. As it has often been pointed out:
The Bible is the only ancient book that is accurate in all scientific details. Other ancient holy books from the East include legends and errors too childish for consideration. Even comparatively modern books like the Koran abound in historical and chronological blunders.
There are many other reasons for believing that the Bible is, as it claims to be, God’s infallible Word.