People ask this question because they have an erroneous definition of faith. They think that faith means to believe something without proof. The Bible never uses that definition. On the contrary, the God who said, “Come, let us reason together,” left many proofs to build up our faith. Faith is knowing something is true. Biblical faith is not about hoping something is true, or wanting to believe something is true.
For instance, the first-century Israelites were not believing on Jesus as their Messiah without proof. The gospel of John (chapters 6-7) records people’s conversations as they compared scriptures to determine whether Jesus was the one God promised to send. God had given highly specific prophecies of the coming Savior to help them recognize him when he came. Reason led many to faith in Jesus.
Many Christians grow in their faith throughout their lifetimes. Their growth in faith parallels the way anyone develops a firm confidence in another person. When a friend keeps following through on her promises, then that background gives us the basis for confidence in her future promises. Similarly, when we obey the scriptures and find God following through, we grow in confidence. We even grow to trust his wisdom in areas that we don’t understand ourselves.
This faith grows because of experiences accumulated over time. When your mechanic successfully fixes your car over the years at a fair price, your confidence in his ability is strengthened. You learn to trust him with the more inexplicable workings of the car, or more difficult challenges. Other people who don’t have this confidence in their mechanic will claim that your faith has no proof. This is the accusation laid at the feet of Christians who are trusting in the wisdom of a God who has followed through over the years faithfully. Tragically, many church-goers never grow in faith over the decades. In too many cases, these individuals cannot point to any working of God in their lives, so their trust is in an institution. Instead of being able to give a personal testimony of God working in their lives (as Paul did in Acts 26), they merely point to their church institution, or declare that they belong to a particular denomination. Theirs is more of a culture of religion rather than biblical faith.
Faith does not contradict reason. The Creator who created our minds created us to use our reasoning faculties to understand him and grow in a relationship with him.
What Do You Think?
a. Faith is not the only word redefined by the world. Some other words are “priest,” “church,” and “saint.” Do you know the way the Bible defines these words?
b.If people tell you to reject Christianity because faith and reason are contradictory, would you still consider their claim true? Why or why not?
c. Is it refreshing to discover that God wants us to use our reasoning faculties to come to faith in him?
d. Do you know that God has given us enough proofs to bring us into full faith and trust in him?