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The Issue of Faith and Folly January 27, 2006

Posted by Tim in Religion.

I define faith with the Christian definition from Hebrews 11:

“Now faith is the assurance (or the substance) of things hoped for, the conviction (or the evidence) of things not seen.”

Basically faith is a belief in something you cannot see. Faith is a concept which is heavily romanticized in religious culture. All religions profess faith, and without it a religion cannot stand under scrutiny.

Scientists have faith too – they call them theories. I have faith that gravity exists although gravity is an invisible force because I accept the Theory of Gravity.

But like theories, all faith must be based on some premise or observation. Otherwise it is a blind faith. If I state 2 + 2 = 4 and you merely memorize it and believe it, your faith is blind. If you take the effort to check out the concept by putting 2 apples and 2 apples together, your faith is justified, you have reason to believe that 2 +2 always makes 4.

Everything is bound by logic. You cannot accept two contrasting beliefs. If the Catholic says speaking in tongues is heresy but the Pentecostal says speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift, one of them is wrong. They cannot both profess faith to justify their belief against one another. A belief in something which has an incorrect premise is not faith, but folly.



1. Francis - January 29, 2006

Interesting entry, Tim. However, my question is how do you always reconcile faith with logic? I am not proposing the idea that faith is illogical but how do you then use logic to say, explain that the Pentecostal speaking in tongue is of faith and the Catholic’s stand is not of faith, or vice-versa? Or that when Jesus said,”Your faith has made you well” to the healed blind man, it was logical faith? Or that when God said to Abraham that he was going to be the Father of many nations, when in fact he was past child-bearing age and had not a single offspring, Abraham was not exercising blind faith? How do you separate then in those cases, blind faith from ‘true faith’? Isn’t the verse “walk by faith, not by sight” signifies that true faith is blind?

2. yeohjo - January 29, 2006

Faith is not just a BELIEF in things not seen, it is the EVIDENCE, the PROOF of the things we cannot see. I like the AMP version that says: NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]

3. Tim - January 30, 2006

There is certainly no simple way to differentiate Francis. The best a Christian can do is to constantly keep his mind alert and informed, not stagnant and gullible.

For the case of Abraham it has to be assumed he believed what God said because God spoke to him in a way that made it very clear. I personally believe it would have to be an unmistakable, audible voice.

But that is not the main focus of the post – my point was when you are faced with contrasting doctrines it is one’s duty to inform and convince oneself according to the evidence, not to simply profess faith.

All other religions preach walking by faith after all. But clearly not all of them can be true.

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