Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see….
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:1,6)
Reasonable faith. Blind faith. Step of faith. Leap of faith. Shaky faith. Dead faith. Confident faith. Everyone has a faith. What’s yours like?
Wait, everyone has a faith? Even the atheist, agnostic, or skeptic? They may not know it or admit it, but they do. An atheist has faith that atheism is true. An agnostic has faith that agnosticism is true. A skeptic…well, you get it. They may not claim a religion, but they have a faith. Each of them has a worldview – a mental model of reality – that tries to explain the big questions about life, like who we are, where we came from, why we’re here, how we should live, and where we’re going. Everyone’s ideas and attitudes about the world, themselves, and life in general come from their worldview. And everyone believes (has faith) that their worldview is true.
The question is, what’s worth believing? What’s worth having faith in?
The thing about religions and worldviews is that they aren’t just about faith – they are also about facts. All worldviews make claims about what’s true (facts), and those claims can be analyzed. We can evaluate which worldview has solid evidence for its conclusions (beliefs), and which worldview’s conclusions are most reasonable based on reality. We can see whether faith is reasonable or not.
But you might be thinking – do “reasonable” and “faith” really belong in the same sentence? Aren’t they opposites? The opposite of faith isn’t reason, it’s unbelief. A faith is reasonable if its worldview and supporting facts can be shown to be reasonable.
Quick timeout. Still with me? Is all this talk about worldviews making your eyes glassy? We’re going to dig in a little more, then pull out some applications for your life. Stick it out.
There’s no way that a short blog post can fully defend the Christian worldview, but I want to give you a few points that show how the Christian faith makes logical sense. There’s a lot of evidence and reasoning backing these up that I can’t include for the sake of space, but there are more resources at the bottom of this post that you can dig into for details.
Arguments for the existence of God
If someone says to you, “why should I believe that God exists? That’s crazy! Give me one good reason for the existence of God.” Here are four good ones. God is the best explanation for:
Why anything at all exists rather than nothing. Where did everything come from?
How the universe came to be. When did the universe get started, and how?
The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life. Why does the universe and earth seem so well suited to human flourishing?
The existence of objective moral values and duties. How can we say that something – for example, torturing babies for fun – is always wrong?
The best answer to these questions is because God set it up that way. That isn’t just a “drop the mic” statement though – a lot of non-Christians disagree with that. But I believe that the facts point to God as the best explanation for reality. Check them out for yourself by digging into those resources that I mentioned. If something is true, no amount of scrutiny can affect it.
12 Steps to show that Christianity is Logical and the Bible is True
The first book I ever read about Christian apologetics was called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist.” Catchy title, but it also laid out and defended 12 logical steps to show that biblical Christianity is reasonable. They are:
The truth about reality can be known.
The opposite of true is false (two contradicting things can’t be true at the same time).
It is true that the theistic God exists. The evidence for this is the beginning of the universe, the design of the universe and of life, and the moral law.
If God exists, then supernatural miracles are possible.
Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God.
The New Testament is historically reliable. The evidence for this is early, authentic, eyewitness testimony of historical events that was accurately recorded and copied.
The New Testament says that Jesus claimed to be God.
Jesus’ claim to be God was confirmed by His fulfillment of prophecy, His sinless life, His miracles, and His prediction and accomplishment of His resurrection.
Therefore, Jesus is God.
Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God, Christianity is true, and anything opposed to it is false.
Each of those points took a few chapters to explain and defend. Together, they build a logical argument that makes sense. And if they’re true, then being a Christian is the most reasonable thing you could possibly do!
These [tests] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:7)
Points like the ones above can show that Christian faith in general is reasonable, but no logical argument can prove that your personal faith exists. You could defend facts about Christianity without trusting in Jesus yourself. What shows you have a real faith isn’t how well you can lay out a rational argument for God – it’s how much you trust God when hard times come. Faith is proven when it’s tested, and your faith develops when you exercise trust in God.
Your response to whatever you’re going through – temptation, a breakup, job loss, depression, tragedy, and other tough situations – shows what kind of faith you really have. That kind of faith can’t be proven just with logic and apologetics; it must be proven with trust. A “Jesus, no matter what happens, I’m going to follow you” kind of trust. And the more you follow Jesus and trust Him, the more your faith grows. It’s like a muscle – it gets stronger when you use it.
The other day I was walking by a playground at Watermark. A little girl was standing on the edge of a platform a few feet off the ground, and her dad was right in front of her with his arms held out. “Jump, honey!” She hesitated. “I promise I’ll catch you!” No movement. “You can trust Daddy.” Finally, she jumped! And of course, her daddy caught her, hugged her, and put her safely on the ground.
If she had said, “I trust you Daddy” but didn’t jump, would you believe that she really trusted him? Or if she had listed off all the facts of the situation – how big, strong, coordinated, and close her daddy was, but still didn’t move? She had the facts straight. The evidence was clear. It was perfectly reasonable that she would be caught. But she didn’t prove it until she leapt into her daddy’s arms.
God is asking you to trust Him. Right now, in whatever you’re going through. It’s probably going to feel uncomfortable or scary. But the facts are there – He’s trustworthy. Jump.
The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
Reason for God by Tim Keller
On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision by William Lane Craig
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norm Geisler & Frank Turek
Watermark Messages & Ministries
Answering the Tough Ones series and core classes
Great Questions ministry (Monday nights at 7:30)
We’d love to hear from you! You can email any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.