Now, just reading that question in print, it can be taken a number of ways. On the face of it, that question sounds like a challenge to my intellect, as in “Come on, Larry, how can you have faith? You’re smarter than that!”
Or perhaps it was an acknowledgement of hardships that I was facing at the time, and the question was as much about a sympathetic heart as it was about the merits of believing in Jesus, as in, “Larry, how can you still have faith after all you’ve been through?”
Or maybe it was more about the questioner than the questioned. Perhaps it was not my faith that was being challenged, but rather a plaintive, almost desperate cry of someone that just couldn’t see herself having faith in the face of life’s struggles, even though she truly wanted to be able to believe.
For the record, I don’t believe that the question was meant as a challenge to my intellect. I believe it was a combination of the second and third options listed above. I believe the question revealed a mix of affirmation and sympathy along with a personal desire to believe, despite persistent doubts.
Now, it’s true confession time: I didn’t answer her! The question caught me off guard, and I’m just not that quick on my feet. I wasn’t quite sure what was being asked of me in that moment, and I didn’t know how to answer. I honestly can’t remember if I responded at all. I don’t think I did.
The incident occurred several years ago now, and the question has haunted me. And not because of personal doubts, but because of my failure to respond. Reflecting on this has challenged me to be better prepared to give an answer to those who ask about my faith, about the hope that I have that transcends this life’s obstacles and struggles.
As with my loved one, for many a key factor in unbelief is misinformation. The mindset prevalent in so many Western civilizations today is biased towards unbelief. Whether in the realm of public education, government or entertainment, a supposed scientific mindset is held out to be reasonable, and faith, by contrast, is seen as illogical.
In the face of such a worldview, it is not surprising that so many wonder how it is possible to have faith. They have been sold a bill of goods, and sadly have bought into the notion that to have faith is a blind leap, as in “Just ignore the facts and believe anyway.”
But the Christian faith stands in sharp contrast to this. Faith is absolutely an essential aspect of Christianity, but the faith called for is a reasonable one. I contend that tenets of the Christian faith will stand up under close scrutiny. It is the “facts” of popular culture that are in reality unproven theories or outright lies.
The theory (not “fact”) of evolution is a prime example of this. Closely related to this is the lie that the so-called scientific method is unbiased. Another closely related and key lie is the contention that the Bible is mystical and mythical, a mere collection of fables and wishful thinking.
So as I write on topics pertaining to my faith, I will continually point out the factual and historical nature of the Bible, and the reasonableness of faith in it being God’s Word.