Logical Gal and another helpful distinction in terms

4 Apr

Real faith is not the stuff dreams are made of; rather it is tough, practical and altogether realistic. Faith sees the invisible but it does not see the nonexistent.  A.W. Tozer

Faith - word

This distinction grabbed me.  I’ve read/heard some snarky debaters mock Christians by likening believing in a transcendent supernatural God with subscribing to something silly as the ‘flying spaghetti monster’.  Even Samuel Clemens quipped,“Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.

Samuel Clemens

So often when I am trying to grasp the concept of something that is new to me, I seek to do two things:

  • set this ‘thing’ in a larger context or category.
  • find out what it is opposed to, that is, to what it is NOT. The contrast helps set some boundaries that make it easier for me to  see more clearly what this ‘thing’ is.

Back to ‘faith’.  A synonym that adds more meaning is the verb ‘to trust’.  If you say, “I have faith in airplanes”,  you mean probably that you trust your safety to the engineers who built the aircraft, the mechanics who keep it running and the pilots who transport you safely to your destination.  And you demonstrate your trust or faith by actually boarding a plane and traveling with it.

Christian faith is similar.  It is trust in the truthful reality of the unseen God who has given lots of evidence for His existence. In a much smaller way I trust the force of gravity.  I can’t SEE this pressure, but gravity certainly keeps my feet on the ground, so I don’t float away as if weight-less.   Knowing that gravity exists limits my choices.  If it’s me or gravity, gravity is going to win out!



So the next time someone tries to mock one of your unseen beliefs that is true, you can remember to quip back this distinction between the invisible and the non-existent.


Question: What other distinction has recently helped you?





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