Tag Archives: Blind Faith

Do Christian beliefs rest on ‘blind’ faith?

23 Mar

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”  John 20:29

I love Venn diagrams!  Creating categories helps me think through possibilities and provides a way to understand what something IS because I can see ‘what it is NOT!’

Take screwdrivers.  When I’m new to a concept, in order to picture it through descriptive words, I have to know what the other possibilities might be.

My dad first introduced me to the screwdriver by sending me to fetch a Phillips.  I asked him what one was.  He described the cross-recessed tool.  I had to know if there were other possibilities besides this design.  As I recall, he only mentioned the other common device – the slot drive one.  If your curiosity is piqued, then take a glance at this website.

Back to Jesus’ comment about ‘those who believe without seeing’.  Just like with screwdrivers, I want to know how many possible kinds of believers are there and what distinguishes each from the other.  Are believers merely binary?  That is, are there only 2 kinds – those who believe because they see Jesus and those who believe yet don’t see Jesus?   Or are there other categories because of different distinctives?

I think the ‘world’ outside of Christianity will respond with a hearty Yes!  There are those who believe because they SEE and then there are “the blind-faith kind“.   These folks are often parodied as those who ‘check their brains at the door.’   I’ve even run across some Christians who proudly echo a version of that kind of belief.  When queried about why they believe, they’ll respond with an ‘I just do!’

But is that the only basis for trusting Christianity to be true?

No!  and fortunately not.

We believe that Jesus is God and that all He said about Himself, His Father, the world, the past and the future IS accurate because we have eyewitness testimony.  The written Bible is a document that has been historically validated and stood the test of time.

Yes, the Holy Spirit has to open eyes and hearts to accept that the testimony is true.  But the documentation exists, nonetheless.

So back to Jesus and His blessing on those of us who were not around to encounter Jesus in 1st-century Palestine.  We have the benefit of being able to read every single day the evidentiary accounts of God dealing with Old Testament Israel and her enemies.  And we have written testimony by the apostles of what happened in the life of Jesus and after His ascension.

Don’t forget, many of those who DID hear Jesus teach and see Him perform miracles did not believe.  This fact alone throws into question the adage, ‘seeing is believing’.  It certainly wasn’t for everyone.

If you believe and rest in the fact of Jesus being who the Bible says He is, then thank God for giving you this living faith. It IS a gift.  But it’s not a blessing bestowed in a vacuum.  The Bible exists; be glad about that!  And please practice being able to point to this evidence with confidence when someone asks you why you believe.   As the apostle Peter wrote, honor Jesus for the testimonies:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.  1 Peter 3:15

 

Logical Gal – No such thing as blind faith!

8 Apr

How many times have you heard Christians described as un-thinking dolts who depend on ‘blind faith’ to get them through life?

Properly defining terms will release Christians from that unkind, unflattering and untrue label.

Pistis (Strong’s  # 4102) is the Greek word for trust. (often translated as ‘faith’)

So what do Christians trust or rely on for their beliefs?  They look to evidence.

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Does that surprise you?  It shouldn’t.  The Christian God provided the direct evidence of an empty tomb, ‘securely’ guarded by well-trained Roman soldiers. Paul cites eyewitness testimony from 500+ people who vouched they encountered or saw the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth. When he pens this fact, most of those people are still alive and available to counter his bold statement if in fact UN-true.

So Christians who trust God have past evidence to inform their ‘faith’.  They also have the recorded promises of a supernatural being. This God has the audacity to have put in writing for generations to see what He was predicting.  So far, many of those promises have been fulfilled.  Actual circumstances that have turned out the way God promised build confidence in His followers.

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So Christians have an evidence-based trust in God, backed up by reason.  Those who live by ‘supposed sight’ actually are the less rational.  They tend to let circumstances alter their feelings, which then rule their decisions.

So tell me, who is the one who lives blindly? ‘Thinking Christians’ is NOT an oxymoron!

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Question: What do you have faith in?  Whom or what do you trust and why?

Logical Gal – what some will stoop to in order to WIN!

11 Feb

Winning at all costs

Would you like to know how you can win debates every time?  especially if your opponent is nervous and naive?

Just redefine the terms to suit you!  It’s that simple.

I heard this point expounded while listening to a podcast from Stand to Reason. – Here’s the Link.  Greg Koukl, the host, was providing listeners with an example of how some of the so-called New Atheists actually make a mistake when it comes to understanding the concept of Biblical Faith.

The bumper sticker below is apparently what they think faith means.  Do you suppose they exercise that kind of faith in airline pilots when they board a commercial flight?blind faith bumper sticker

What atheists might label as faith is simply trust or reliance.   Just as I’m sure they rely on previous safety records when deciding to board a commercial aircraft, Christians rely on eye-witness accounts as part of their ‘reasons to believe’ that Jesus is who He claimed to be.  Thus these atheists incorrectly define faith as: “a leap of faith without evidence” aka “blind faith”.  Certainly their false definition could be an intentional tactic.  But I actually think they are woefully ignorant about what the Bible has to say about trust, belief and evidence.  Numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments there are references to reason and evidence.

  • God, through the prophet Isaiah beckons, “Come now, let us reason together.…” (Isaiah 1:18)

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as saying:

  • ” 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.” (Jn 14:11)

And what makes the credibility of Jesus so solid is that His claims could have been easy to dispute.  The falsifiability of a claim is its strength.  So what would falsify Christianity? For one thing, had the Romans or Jews of Palestine been able to produce the body of a dead, crucified Jesus THAT would have been evidence that he was not who he said he was.

Question – So who actually is clinging to a debate position without evidence?  Are the ‘New Atheists’ themselves making a ‘Leap of Faith’ that the Biblical God does not exist?

Leap of faith

Logical Gal says: ‘No such thing as blind faith!’

9 Dec

I often cringe when Christians are ridiculed as being un-thinking simpletons who believe in the God of the Bible and the truth of His word by ‘blind faith’.

But before reacting out of mere emotion to what amounts to inaccurate name-calling, it’s more helpful to actually examine the terms. (Duh! – first step in logic, right?)

So what is ‘faith’?  The New Testament uses the Greek word ‘pistis‘ (Strong’s # 4102).  ‘Trust’ would be a more accurate translation.  And what is it that we are called to trust? – Evidence that God presents.

This is no blind trust.  God actually raised a dead man who claimed to be the son of God from his grave (evidence  = empty tomb, guarded by top-notch Roman soldiers). Then God provided 500 or so ordinary men and women in Jerusalem who gave eye-witness testimony that described  actually seeing, touching, hearing and eating with this resurrected Jesus of Nazareth during a period of 40 days.

Besides this direct evidence, there is also the accumulation of fulfilled promises.   Many prophesies of the Bible have come to pass.  Written down declarations of what will happen in the future is pretty risky.  God really ‘put it out there’ by having the direct evidence of written scrolls.  And as year succeeds year, the accumulation of these situations having come to pass is building a trust-worthy case of circumstantial evidence.  Trusting God is no ‘leap in the dark’!

So what we have is not BLIND faith, but reasoned, evidence-based trust in God and what He says.  That’s a lot stronger and more reliable than what amounts to living by sight of circumstances. Unfortunately, because of emotion, people often make assumptions followed by decisions based only on what they see.

” Seeing is believing!”  Can you say ‘oxymoron’?

Question: Which makes a better guiding principle for life?

  • A reasoned trust in God’s promises based on evidence

or

  • A blind faith in one’s circumstances as perceived through the senses