It is sometimes quite fortunate that the Bible wasn’t written in English. The Greek of the New Testament was much more exact. Where we might use words like “love” or “faith”, ancient Greek had multiple words for each. There are big differences between the way you love your spouse, kids, BBQ steak, lollies, a TV show. You have to pay close attention to the context to glean the meaning.
“Faith” as Christians define it is much more akin to our modern word “trust”. And as we all know, trust is usually earned before it is given. I often see people write about the difference between “faith” and “reason”, as if there is a logical dichotomy. More often than not it’s titled “Faith Vs Reason”, like it’s some sort of competition.
My faith (or trust, or belief) is based on evidence. It’s based on someone I find trust-worthy. My faith is reason-able. It’s just we all differ on what we call “evidence”. As stated in my first blog, faith is the first step in the reasoning process. You don’t have one without the other.
Our faith is based on who we trust, our life experience, true stories, answered prayer, a living dynamic relationship. When I have doubts, they are very specific. More to do with my future rather than whether God exists. I may as well be saying my mother doesn’t exist. We know each other and talk all the time.
I was almost going to write this week on the historicity of Jesus. He was an actual guy who lived in Judea a couple of thousand years ago. There are numerous non-biblical proofs of it. Although why people discount the first four books of the new testament as proof is beyond me. But the evidence is easy to find. No serious historian discounts that he existed. However every few years someone trots out the same tired old arguments as if they’ve discovered some shocking truth that he was made up. Wishful thinking perhaps?
We are left with a remarkably unchanged record of his life and teachings. And what he said and did, by all accounts, was amazing. Taken as a whole we are left with only three choices: he was crazy, a liar, or he’s God incarnate. What seems reasonable to you based on the evidence? You begin to see how your faith will inform your answer.
So… have you checked the evidence lately?