“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
– Werner Heisenberg
The topic of faith is a deep ocean and I am a poor swimmer.
Few subjects are as weighty or controversial as faith. Some think the concept of a higher power is ridicules. Richard Dawkins, a famous atheist, compared religious faith to mental illness. Dawkins has an impressive list of academic credentials and has been called one of the Four Horsemen of modern atheism, along with notable intellectuals Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett the late Christopher Hitchens.
To balance the scales, it should be noted that Blaise Pascal, Galileo, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Copernicus and Heisenberg (for you Breaking Bad fans) were all believers. Just sayin’.
Christians and atheists can play the one-up game for days, tossing out the names of geniuses who either believe in God or don’t. That exercise gets you nowhere. Faith, it seems, is an individual decision. Each person has to weigh the topic for himself and determine if a “big G” God makes sense.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
This is among the best known definitions of faith in the Bible, but it presents something of a contradiction. How can you be sure of something you hope for? Can you have conviction about something you cannot see? Is Paul, the author of Hebrews, saying we “hope” God exists?
The Bible tells us that Paul, himself a very learned man, was formerly known as Saul. He was an enthusiastic persecutor of the early church and responsible for the death of many Christians. As the story goes, he encountered the resurrected Jesus and instantly became a believer. He saw and believed. We modern day disciples don’t have that luxury
Jesus Himself said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Why do I believe in God? I can’t see Him and, unlike Bigfoot, there is no photograph of Him. I’ve never heard His audible voice and if I tell a skeptic that He has “spoken to me,” I’ll get that condescending look that you give a kid who says the dog ate his homework. Why am I willing to invest significant amounts of time, money, sweat and emotion in a deity that I cannot scientifically prove?
Well, I simply don’t believe the universe is an accident. I think Jesus was the real deal; He died and rose from the dead (hey Dawkins, I must be crazy!). I’ve seen the evidence of how God radically changes lives. And I’ve seen some miracles – not parting-of-the-seas stuff but certainly some extraordinary things that cannot be explained outside of a “Big G” GOD! I also think that Jesus’s teachings are spot on. Even if you are not a Christian, His advice for humanity is excellent.
While I would like to say that my faith is the result of great reasoning and logic, alas, I cannot. Actually, the credit goes to God. He is the founder and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). As someone said, the only thing I contributed to my salvation was my own sin. The only thing I have contributed to my faith is an open mind.
Faith is a gift given by a loving Father. You don’t have to be a genius to open it.