Faith or Truth

“I wish I had your faith”

What’s that about?

People seem to think there’s some virtue in blindly believing in something, anything.

I’m interested in the truth.

I’ve been reading C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters recently, and I think he makes some very useful points.

He tells how the “learned” people of his time (around 70 years ago) read lots of old books, but rather than decide whether a statement is true or not, they discussed what influenced the author, whether it was consistent with their other books, what stage in their development, or the general history of thought it represented, how it influenced later writers, how it had been misunderstood, the current general thinking on the subject, and the present state of the question.

Things don’t seem to have changed much in the last 70 years. No one is right or wrong, there may be advantages and disadvantages to different points of view, but what is called ‘truth’ is subjective.

It seems I’m not that good at explaining why what I believe should be the objective truth, but part of the problem is probably that people don’t believe there is such a thing as objective truth.

I’m pretty sure the faith that Christians are supposed to have is faith that God will keep his promises, not to cling on to believing he exists while keeping our eyes shut.

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3 thoughts on “Faith or Truth

  1. We all put our faith in things, because nothing in the future is certain, or at least from our perspective, because we can’t see the future. When we sit on a chair we have faith that it will hold our weight and when we get on board a train we put our faith in the driver to keep us safe and get us there. We go to university because we have faith that if we work hard this will be recognised, that that reward will be acknowledged be employers, and that we will be able to pay for the course through what we earn in years to come, or some other source. We live our whole life by faith.

    Faith (or trust, which in this sense is a practically inter-changeable word) can be held for a variety of reasons. Maybe because what we have witnessed that thing happen in the person, because we have a tie to the person promising the the outcome, because there are incentives for people to make sure that thing happens, and many more reasons besides.

    So when I say I have a faith, I mean that I have a faith in God, that his promises will hold true, and that whatever happens he will sustain me and guide me. I do this, because he has done it in the past for me, done it for millenia for many other individuals and communities, because of the evidence in the natural world, and most importantly because I have a relationship with him that is both built on and facilitating trust.

    As with regards to your opening statement, it’s an interesting one, and people often say it. Some times it is a misuse of the word, but sometimes perhaps people just don’t know why you trust. Maybe they haven’t been told of God’s promises and how he’s kept them before, maybe they’ve been thrown off course by the world when they’ve tried to follow Him in the past (as so many of us, at the very least, come close to), or maybe they’ve just never known Him before, for whatever reason.

    All we can do is let our words and actions point to the living God, and demonstrate that our faith is not misguided, but is real, lasting (through His power), and built on firm foundations.

    1. Yeah I agree.

      Several people have told me that, while they clearly think I’m mistaken in my beliefs, they did not want to change or even challenge them. This is the thinking I was aiming at. I don’t want to believe in something false. At least Richard Dawkins is man enough to claim that he’s right and others are wrong.

  2. The trouble is you can’t even get people to commit to going out for lunch the next day, or something like that, let alone to a worldview that governs every part of the way they live.

    In our society individual autonomy is the god we worship, and when something threatens that, such as faith in God, people don’t want to know. We put our faith in ourselves, and it’s heartbraking to see people finding out that they can’t rely on themselves because they’re fragile and weak – I have to learn that lesson every day. I think a lot of people just bury their head in the sand and ignore this, and carry on convincing themselves they’ll be OK. I know it’s certainly tempting for me!

    Your posted reminded me of an illustration I’ve heard about faith, so I’ve done my own blog post – thanks for the inspiration!

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