I remember sitting in class with a professor who suggested that only atheists were free-thinkers. “Ouch!” I thought. Was he right? As a kid that wore skinny jeans and skateboard shoes to church (before skinny pants were cool) and who never quite fit the mold of a preachers kid, I couldn’t believe the professor’s assertion. I had spent years creating friendships with people who not only had differing religious and political views, but many of whom thought my belief in God was a joke. Yet somehow, because I still held my belief in God to be rational, my professor wrote me off as close minded.
My experience in a college classroom that day was one of many that would send me down a long trail of studying Christian apologetics. No, I don’t mean the art of apologizing to people (although I have had to master that as well); I mean defending the Christian faith. I started researching tough questions about God’s existence. Questions like, “What does the study of evolution tell us about God? How can an all-loving God allow evil and suffering? Do miracles happen? Did Jesus really rise again?" I soon realized that these questions had answers. Real answers. Philosophers, scientists, and great thinkers have been answering these questions since Paul addressed the Romans on Mars Hill. One might even go as far as to say Paul was one of the first apologists (a defender of the faith).
Yet some Christians might pushback and claim that faith requires believing without seeing. For it was also Paul who wrote, “We walk by faith, not by sight (1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV).” Does that mean faith is trusting in God without any rational thought? Is having doubts or questions equivalent to lacking faith? Some would say that studying rational beliefs for the existence of God means you don’t truly believe in Him with all your heart. They’re wrong.
Faith is not blindly believing in God; faith is trusting in him even when you face doubt, adversity, and insecurity. In fact, the word faith comes from the Greek word pistis; which is rooted in the work peitho, “I persuade.” Faith has much more to do with trusting the Creator than we realize. God left us a trail of evidence pointing back to Him. Are we afraid of scientific discovery or rational thought? I would hope we trust in Him enough to look at the facts of creation, to test even our own faith, and know that He is still in control. Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NIV).” It is precisely because of the evidence that we can trust in God. If his power is on display everywhere we look, then we have no excuse for denying Him.
If you have doubts or you think faith in God is unfounded on reality, I encourage you to address those concerns. Solid Faith, is a four-part Bible study which answers a few of the most popular objections to faith. More importantly, it discusses the key component of the Christian faith: the Resurrection. This study is a collection of rational explanations for God’s existence from some of the greatest Christian thinkers. Before you give up, understand faith is not blind. There is good reason to trust in God. There are answers out there. It is up to you to seek them out.