Central Thesis: No one can actually believe in something blindly. 

What is the concept meant by the term Christian “Faith”?

“Faith is believing what you know aint so.” – Mark Twain

“Faith is believing in spite of the evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” – Jesus of Nazareth

“Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” – The writer of Hebrews (Chapter 11, verse 7)

We can dispense with the incorrect characterizations of Hitchens, Dawkins, Twain, et al completely by simply pointing out that their understanding of Christian faith is incorrect.  In fact, if they were accurately describing Christian faith as “believing in spite of the evidence”, then they would also be accurate in stating that Christianity is dangerous and tantamount to child abuse.  But they do not understand what the word “faith” means in a Christian and Biblical context.  Do you?

Therefore, this series of blog posts will explore what is meant (or at least should be) by Christians when they say they have “faith” in Christ.  This will serve dual purposes of causing the Christian to seriously consider HOW they themselves came to faith, and of providing a starting point for discussion with non-believers about the word “faith” in a Christian world view.

This series will explore the following:

  • What is the Biblical concept of the word “faith”? (Part 2)
  • How does one come to have “faith” in something?
    • Sources they trust – parents, pastors, professors, publications, papers, posts (Part 3)
    • Intuition – putting the pieces of life together (least “explainable” but still not “blind”) (Part 4)
    • Reaction to stress or joy – mountain tops and valleys in life (Part 5)
    • Experience - direct experience with Christ in some way (Part 6)

The bottom line

Many people shy away from apologetic study because the focus is on historical reliability, logical progression, reading, reading, and more reading.  They may incorrectly say, "I just believe" or even "I just have blind faith", meaning (perhaps) that "I haven't read all those books, but I have received comfort from Christ" (experience).  Or "I have seen Christ change my (child, father, mother, wife, husband, brother, sister), and can see that it is true" (sources). Or "I cannot explain how mankind (myself included) can be so evil without acknowledging sin, and Christ's atonement lines up with this" (intuition). Or "I'm so wracked with grief; God help me!"  "I can't contain my JOY! Praise God" (reaction). Or "God was there in my grief.  God was there in my joy!" (experience)  These are not as rigorously literary as a historical treatise on the evidence for the resurrection, but they are clearly not "blind".  In one way or another, they are "evidence".

If all goes well, there will be a separate post on each of the above topics.  In the end, the central thesis "that there is no way to actually believe in something blindly" will be strongly supported.

--DW

(Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5)