Second Baytown Blog
Faith is often characterized in America as unreasonable or only attained through letting go of reason. Many sources contribute to this body of thought that faith is rationally unreliable, one of the greatest streams from Christian pulpits around America claiming, “Faith is a blind leap”. Thus, faith is not an ascent of belief formed by a rational idea, personal experience, and disciplined volitional thought. Instead, J.P. Moreland summarizes it best when he compares the current American concept of faith as, “A blind act of will”. Yet I believe that when one surveys the scriptures, that is not the masterpiece of faith that the divine author seems to be painting. Rather, faith is more aptly defined as, “A trust in what we have reason to believe is true.”. Therefore, faith is not an object that one righteously claims or self-righteously aborts. Rather, faith is a force that we live within that operates every aspect of our reality, similarly as the laws of gravity. We can deny that it exists, however our denial of faith is a statement of faith within itself. Thus, the question we must answer is not whether or not faith must always be reasonable, but rather, “How reasonable must our faith be?”
The Cognitive-Behavioral branch of psychology asserts that we ultimately act out what we believe. Primitively, this means that when I believe I am hungry, I will eat. Deeper still, this means that what we truly take hold of in our minds is what we act on in our bodies. Possibly this is why the Biblical author so aptly wrote, “Faith without works is dead”. For, despite what we say, our actions reveal our deepest beliefs and ultimately our works reveal the object of our faith. We cannot have faith and not act on that faith. I would assert that one cannot have faith without reason, but one can have an unreasonable faith. In other words, it is impossible to have faith without the reasoning that it is rational. However, one can place faith in that which doesn’t make the most rational sense to someone else. Going one step further, one also can have complete reasonable faith in an idea/being/object without having a complete grasp on the entirety of the idea/being/object (for example, I am currently typing on a computer and believe that what I type will appear on the computer screen. Yet at the exact same time, I have no clue how the hardware of my computer is making this happen.).
In conclusion, I have 5 statements which I am certain are true.
1. We all have faith.
2. Everyone has faith in something all of the time.
3. Our beliefs drive our actions.
4. It is impossible to have faith in something that you do not reason is true.
5. One can place faith in an idea/being/object without completely understanding the idea/being/object, for complete understanding is not required for a reasonable belief.
These statements lead me to the belief that because faith is certainly something that we all possess, may we place our faith in something that is worth our faith. May we believe something that is worth living, for we will act upon it. May we submit Christianity as not a mindless, emotional ascent, but rather a rational faith-worthy belief system that can save one’s soul from unreasonable belief and action. May we present the most reasonable faith for life and death.
Faith that is not reasonable is foolish faith.
Life was not meant to be experienced alone. We believe that life is best lived in relationship with others. Often times, it is in these unique relationships that we find encouragement, gain support, and grown in our faith.
Small Groups gives us an opportunity to experience life change. Our groups are made up of 6-15 people that meet together in homes in the Baytown area. To discover more about groups check out our groups home page.