Faith is… (Hebrews 11:1)
There’s a huge bridge before you. You’re not an engineer, but you see many people go on ahead without any problems. So, although it might feel daunting, you proceed based on the evidence available to you; the bridge has been there for some time and it isn’t collapsing when people are on it. You don’t have absolute proof, but firmly believe it will be ok. You have evidenced based faith that the bridge is structurally sound.
This is how we navigate life all the time. We are always presented with decisions on where to go, what to do, who to trust, when to act. We rarely have 100% proof that things are as we assume, but this doesn’t stop us proceeding through life making the best judgement that we can in every situation.
For some reason, when it comes to faith in the context of religion, this definition goes out of the window. Believing in God is blind faith, people say. It’s belief without evidence and sometimes, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. You need more faith to believe in God, they say, when there is little or no evidence to prove his existence.
But this is not how it works in normal life so why should it be any different in the context of religion? The Bible, for example, is full of wisdom advising its readers to be sure of what they believe, testing things they hear, checking that the things they read are indeed genuine or not.
“Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.”1 Thessalonians 5:20-21
Faith in God cannot be a matter of 100% proof, for sure. But we shouldn’t expect 100% proof before we can claim something is true beyond reasonable doubt. So evidence that points towards there being a God would strengthen faith; conversely evidence that points in the opposite direction would weaken faith. Faith is an evidenced based attribute, or at least, it should be. Evidence for something that we cannot see, but that we can accept as true beyond all reasonable doubt.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”Hebrews 11:1
At Bible Feed we like to explore reasons for belief in the God of the Bible. The God Question episode of the Bible Feed podcast is a good place to start.