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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

Not Blind But Evidential Faith



GODVERSITY_Evidential_Faith

“Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have, but do so with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15

Sometimes people mistake the definition of “faith”. Because faith is sometimes described as believing in things that cannot be seen, Christians often think of faith as an act of believing in things that have no evidential basis. In essence, some Christians believe that “true faith” is believing in something in spite of the evidence or believing in something when there is no evidence to support the belief in the first place!

But this is not the Biblical definition of faith. While it is true that God is a Spirit and cannot be seen, it is not true that there is no evidence to support the existence of the unseen God. While we may not see anyone throw a rock in a pond, we may indeed see the ripples that the rock created on the surface of the water and come to the belief that someone threw a rock into the pond on the basis of this evidence. In a similar way, there are many good reasons to believe that God exists, and the Biblical model of true faith involves examining the evidence for God’s existence.

Let’s examine the Biblical model of evidential faith:

Christians Are Called to Use Their Minds

God tells us that we are to love Him with more than our heart. We are to have a relationship that is emotional and intellectual (Matthew 22:37-38).

Christians Are Called to Understand the Value of Evidence

God has given us a number of good evidential reasons to believe that He exists and that Jesus is who He says He is. We are not called to have blind faith, but to have a well reasoned, evidential faith (Acts 1:2-3, Acts 17:2-3, Acts 17:30-31).

Christians Are Called to Examine Their Beliefs

God wants us to know what we believe and why we believe it. We’re not called to numbly trust everything that might be taught in our world today, even if some Christian teacher is the source! We’re expected to be critical, skeptical and thoughtful (Acts 17:10-11, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21, 1 John 4:1)

Christians Are Called to be Convinced of What They Believe

God wants us to be certain and base our certainty on evidence that can be articulated to others who may have doubts (Romans 14:5, 2 Timothy 1:8-12, 2 Timothy 3:14).

Christians Are Called to be “Case Makers”

Once we have examined the evidence and have come to the conclusion that Christianity is true, we are called to be ready to make a strong defense for what we believe (1 Peter 3:15).

The Christian life is a rational and reasonable life that is rooted and grounded in the evidence of the Resurrection and the truth of the Bible.

Christians are saved by placing their trust in Jesus, but Christians become a powerful force in their world when they commit themselves to being “case makers” for what they believe.

Christians can be “case makers” precisely because the Christian faith is an evidential faith. When we, as Christians, argue for the truth of the Christian Worldview, we are not sharing an opinion.


There either is a God, or there is not. Jesus is that God, or He is not. Salvation comes through Christ alone (as Jesus Himself maintained), or it does not.

This is not a matter of opinion, personal preference or wishful thinking. The Christian faith is grounded in evidence that can be assessed and evaluated. The Christian faith is an evidential faith.

"As I speak around the country, I often encounter devoted, committed Christians who are hesitant to embrace an evidential faith. In many Christian circles, faith that requires evidential support is seen as weak and inferior. For many, blind faith (a faith that simply trusts without question) is the truest, most sincere, and most valuable form of faith that we can offer God. Yet Jesus seemed to have a high regard for evidence. In John 14:11, He told those watching Him to examine ‘the evidence of miracles’ (NIV) if they did not believe what He said about His identity. Even after the resurrection, Jesus stayed with His disciples for an additional forty days and provided them with ‘many convincing proofs’ that He was resurrected and was who He claimed to be (Acts 1:2-3 NIV). Jesus understood the role and value of evidence and the importance of developing an evidential faith. It’s time for all of us, as Christians, to develop a similarly reasonable faith’.” —J. Warner Wallace

 

References:

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity.

C.S Lewis Foundation

 

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