The Logic of Faith

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear - Hebrews 11:3

If I may use the fish bowl analogy again it would seem that the fish had a decision to make if they had the ability to reason as we do. After discovering everything that they could about their environment and seeing a mysterious hand each day dropping food into their little world they would be left with a profound mystery. Where did that hand come from? What are these mysterious shadows and voices going on out there? Forever restricted to their world they have no way of ever knowing the truth of the matter. Eternally deprived of wisdom and knowledge they could never fully understand the reality which they only see through a "glass darkly."

Even if they were taken out of the bowl by this hand and set on the coffee table or shown around the house would they then know all about reality? No, they are forever limited by their circumstances and their inability to perceive what is clear to their more intelligent human caretaker. The ignorant fish know nothing of jet planes or computers or camping trips into the woods or human relationships. There is really no comparison between goldfish and people. The humans are simply too smart for them to deal with and humans have options that they know nothing of.

God must have created life. There is no escaping that conclusion. Rational human beings are left with a mystery in view of the information that we have now gathered. Do we foolishly hide ourselves in our little world and pretend that the unseen hand does not exist? Do we confuse each other with endless scientific studies and theories which invariably contradict each other? Do we argue endlessly over what we think goes on outside our world? It seems to me that we should face the mystery head on.

The Bible defines faith as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." For some reason I have noticed that many atheists like to call it "blind faith." Of course rational deduction based upon evidence is anything but blind. When we look off into space on a clear night away from the city lights we are left with overwhelming evidence of a power much greater than our own. A rational person would conclude that he will never know one tenth of what his observation suggests lies beyond his immediate view. The foolish man may think that he will learn it in time but his train of thought is irrational. I think we could even call it arrogant.

There is absolutely overwhelming evidence that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the instructions and complexity of life came from an intelligent source that preexists us. That is part of "the evidence of things not seen." There are really quite a few things on this earth that are believed but not seen. For instance, love is unseen but few would doubt its existence. Air is unseen but no one doubts that it exists. We observe its effects and we rationally conclude that it exists. Intelligent input is required in the process of life but it cannot be seen. It is invisible like love. People who are sightless do not have any problem understanding that things exist. They are surrounded with evidence and "substance" that they cannot see. They sense love or rejection or hostility or anger or kindness just like other people do.

There is nothing blind about true faith. It is simply the rational conclusion based upon evidence and unseen substance. The evidence that we now observe all around us leads the rational human being to three words. Those three words are the logical beginning of faith. The words; I donít know, compel us to believe in a power greater than ourselves. We are forced into a place of humility as we contemplate the great unknown. Only blatant arrogance assumes to know the hidden mysteries of life and the universe and the creator behind it all. When we logically conclude that we will never know some things we are then led to the next logical step which is faith. Does the goldfish know where his food and care comes from? No, but he waits for it each morning according to the habit of his caretaker. He is utterly dependant on him. Without him he will die.

Our world, our existence, our conscience all testify of the unknown creator. If that creator holds us in his hands much like the goldfish are in the power of a human would it not be logical to get on the good side of that creator? Would it be wise to make him angry? Faith is the acknowledgment that God is faithful. Everyday the sun rises, each year the rain comes for our crops, and each century that passes brings new evidence of our utter dependence on him. We would all die in short order if God chose to deny us the light of the sun or the blessings of rain. Some would ask here, "well what about famines and extended periods of rain that floods and destroys the crops?" That is my point; we are utterly dependent on our creator. He has within his power the option to feed us or not.

Neither history nor the Bible presents God as some mushy Santa type of figure that spoils his creation with everything we want. Volumes have been written trying to prove that God is somehow obligated to be nice but the obvious conclusion is otherwise. I see no reason to lie about God in order to get people to trust in him. I never have understood the reasoning behind perpetuating the myth of a God who is trying to be good but just doesnít seem to have the opportunity. He is presented as a poor motherly figure that is so upset that he is misunderstood and he would do anything if people would just make him feel wanted.

The evidence of reality and scripture prove that God is not obligated to do anything he doesnít want to do. We are dependent on him and that is what makes many people so upset. There is only so much that they can do in their little fishbowl so they shake their fist at God who stands outside the bowl. This is not a rational reaction. It is kind of like biting the hand that feeds you. It just does not make sense. The more rational activity would be to try and find out exactly what it is that pleases God and what it is that makes him angry. Why would you trifle with such a being? Are you going to win this battle? Really now, isnít it ridiculous to oppose him?

Of course some atheists just pretend that God doesnít exist. Like the ostrich, he sticks his head in a hole and hopes that the problem will just go away. The rational person however tries to make peace with his creator. He has faced the reality of his dependence on God so he includes God in all of his thoughts. Like a dog waits for his master to come home so does the man or woman of faith recognize their utter dependance on God. This is not blind faith. This is simply a rational response to reality. A puppy who bites his ownerís hand can be excused for his ignorance but a full grown dog will likely not be tolerated. He will find himself rejected and cast off. Moreover he will probably find himself the object of his anger and not his favor.

Some people do not appreciate a God like that so they make up their own God, others just ignore him. The person who thinks rationally tries to find out what it is that pleases him. True faith is not wishful thinking or irrational trust in nothing. True faith is a gift from God that he refuses to give to those who see themselves as gods. It appears that God is drawn to those who honestly say, I donít know. He seems to actively resist those who think they know everything. The substance of faith is given to those who trust in the mercy of God and it is kept from those who see no need of mercy. Those who have received the gift of faith from God have no need of further proof of the existence of God because his reality is obvious.

The God of the Bible has endured so long in history because he provides further evidence of his own reality. Empirically without the Bible a God must exist, but the God of the Bible must exist in light of the further evidence of history and that available to those who have placed their trust in him. No one knows exactly what goes on in the mind of a particular person. That evidence is available to him alone. The rest of us can only speculate as to what he was thinking. The evidence of what destroyed the dinosaurs would probably be rather obvious to anyone around at that time. That first hand observer actually knows what happened. He does not need to speculate as we do now. It is not reasonable to conclude that we know more than another who has more evidence than we do. In other words, how can ou be sure that evidence uniquely available to someone is false since you have not seen it?

Evidence is not always available to everyone. Many things we can verify such as chemical reactions or mechanical laws. We can test certain claims and prove them to be true or false. We cannot prove all claims however. You cannot disprove the evidence which I have personally as to the existence of the God of the Bible. Neither can you claim that the evidence of millions of believers throughout history is false. That evidence is only available to them and not to the unbeliever. This evidence can come in various forms, not just spiritual. For instance, I can cite a string of hundreds of events that happened in my life in direct answer to prayer. The odds of this string of events happening by accident make that likelihood impossible. The atheist asks me to ignore that evidence as if it did not exist or pretend that it was just blind chance or internal delusion.

That to me is not a logical approach to a search for the truth. Can you imagine going into a court of law with several hundred eye witnesses lined up willing to testify regarding a certain crime and the judge proclaiming that all of that evidence will not be admitted? The Bible requires two or three witnesses. Most courts accept at least one but several usually prove the truth beyond any reasonable doubt. Atheists exclude evidence from their court and conclude that they have reached a fair verdict. Their verdict is thereby based upon ignorance of the facts and is a false conclusion.

Because the fanatical atheist will not admit that he does not know everything he must ignore the knowledge that is not available to him. Exactly like the ostrich he must willingly ignore evidence that he does not understand. He must pretend that any evidence that does not fit under his microscope is not valid. The fanatical atheist is like a prejudiced judge who will not let blacks testify against whites or vice versa. He has already made up his mind on the issue and he calls his approach logical. He is like the flat earth people who closed their ears to information that they did not understand. He is like some religious people who read things into the Bible that are not there and then ridicule others who do not see it their way. For some reason we have been led to believe that scientific atheism is logical and factual and mind expanding but in reality it is simply a closed minded system that is not a sufficient tool for discovering reality.

Now letís consider some of the evidence that belongs to the believer alone. One of the first things that happened to me was that the Bible became a living book whereas before it seemed to be dry and irrelevant. As I began to take the lessons taught in it to heart and apply them in my daily walk I discovered that they were much more than just wise sayings but were a direct path to the one who gave this truth. I discovered a supernatural love within myself for complete strangers. A dramatic change took place in my life as I was directed by a spiritual power that had nothing to do with my mind or with dreams or with anything I did. Later I came to learn that my actions did have a bearing on this supernatural influence but in the very beginning it was absolutely separate as if I was acted upon by a supernatural force at random. The lessons of loving our neighbors and loving our enemies eventually became important in maintaining that intimate contact with God, but like a child starting out in life I was gently led by a loving father who happened to be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This same Spirit led me into a ministry with teenagers who meant nothing to me before. I was a successful corporate pilot with friends, money, youth and health. Everything changed for the sake of the kids. Nothing was important but the love of God that was in me for teenagers, especially those who were in trouble with the law. That work with teenagers was full of the intervention of God that lasted for 20 years. Imagine a successful corporate pilot going to work digging ditches and eventually getting a job in a prison just to follow this supernatural spirit of love that saturated me and overflowed to the kids. I really am not that foolish to simply decide to be a do-gooder and make the world a better place because of some emotional whim; however the evidence of God was overwhelming and continues to be so to this day. It is beyond the scope of this book, but if I were to recount the times that God had intervened I would have quite a pile of evidence to substantiate my claims here. That is evidence that the atheist knows nothing of, yet he still concludes that there is no God.

Historically speaking it is impossible to ignore the influence of the God of the Bible as he acts upon those who either trust him or forsake him. Two thousand years of history is largely a matter of Christians killing each other. Then of course you have other religions entering into the picture along with atheistic systems destroying each other. Among those bloody groups you will find something else if you search close enough. There has always been some who refused to kill their neighbors and were often persecuted for actually doing what Jesus said to do. The Bible says that this is to be expected. Jesus never commended religious zealots, in fact he condemned them. He spoke of gentle people who would trust him while being opposed by religious people who did not know him. All of the historical evidence points to the truth that Jesus Christ spoke two thousand years ago. Some point out the atrocities of Christians thinking that they have proven that Jesus was a fraud but it was he who made it clear that those atrocities would be committed in his name. (Mt. 24).

The internal witness and the historical witness both point to Jesus Christ. The prophetic witness of the Bible itself points to the truth of Jesus Christ and his atoning death for the sins of the world. Again it is beyond the scope of this book, but the study is absolutely fascinating as the Bible unfolds as the book of life. The odds become phenomenal against chance as we see the fulfillment of prophecies that were written two and three thousand years ago. Some would say that many churches have gone astray believing these prophecies that have proven to be false. Not so. Those churches that went astray were following their own prophets not the prophecies in the Bible.

Anyone can build a strawman and then set fire to it. Jesus was the one who said that there would be false prophets and false teachers. Jeremiah told of false prophets and their destructive influence. It is all written. The preponderance of false prophets or overzealous or misguided followers of false teachers serves to confirm the truth of the Bible. Hundreds of pages in it are devoted to the subject of deception, delusion, and false religion that uses Godís name in vain. All of this evidence is ignored by the atheist. It is ignored by him because it is hidden from him. He has eyes but he cannot see just as religious fanatics see nothing but delusion and false Christs that save no one.

Others ignore the evidence of scripture because they do not like the God of the Bible. They cannot comprehend a God who would command the killing of children or allow the deaths of innocent people. They point to passages that present God as cruel and uncaring. Having done that they conclude that they are justified in ignoring him or pretending that he does not exist. They want God to do what they want him to do. They want him to be subject to them. Because he will not conform to their image they invent another God devised in their own imagination or constructed with passages of scripture that are more socially acceptable and politically correct. Then they defend this God which does not exist and wonder why this fictitious God does not help them. In their imagination he exists but reality knows nothing of him, or her, or it.

Logic says to believe that which is, not that which we wish to be. Does not history prove that there is much more to God than pleasantries? Is it now incomprehensible to believe in a hell when we have experienced so much of it here? Is it hard to believe that there is a judge of the universe because we are all subject to earthly courts? Does not nature and history testify of God?

Likewise we can logically assume that there is evil in the universe. The supernatural influences in the lives of billions throughout history cannot be simply cast off as mass delusion. There is simply too much evidence to the contrary. Sure there is such a thing as manipulating crowds and so forth but there have been too many instances where people have been affected alone. Everybody on this earth is not stupid except the atheists. An acquaintance from India once asked a little gathering that he was teaching if they thought all of his people that worshiped idols were stupid. No, they are just deceived by supernatural forces that react when they bow down and worship a statue. It is like a drug but one that is spiritually induced. They will never be atheists.

These people who worship idols at least know that there is a force beyond themselves. They at least have not hidden their heads in the sand in order to pretend that they know it all. They may be deceived but they at least recognize evidence and do not simply pretend that it is not there. Some of the teenagers that I ministered to told me that they didnít know much about God but they knew the devil existed. Of course the atheist would say that they were all lying or their mind was playing tricks on them. Anyone who has been around a truly possessed person knows different. All of this evidence must be weighed. We cannot just ignore what we donít like and pretend that we have reached a valid conclusion.

Some creationists like to ignore valid scientific evidence that refutes their claims. I have not found a need to do that. The Bible is first and foremost a spiritual book. Every literal event also has a spiritual meaning. If we miss the spiritual part of the book then we are left arguing from a position that is not biblical at all. For instance the creation story is not presented only in the book of Genesis. There are references to it throughout scripture that give it spiritual meaning. That is not to say that it did not literally happen exactly like it says in Genesis but the story in Genesis must be viewed in the light of the rest of scripture in order to find the intended meaning of certain passages that obviously are not intended to be interpreted literally.

It is clear from scripture for instance that time means something completely different to God than it does to us. When Einstein first discovered the relationship of time and matter we were given a clue to what the mind of God already knew. Endless arguments over the age of the earth and the effects of a cursed and fallen creation become rather absurd when we reflect on what we do not know about the miraculous intervention of God from time to time.

If the God who said, "let there be light" is the real God, then there is a built in absurdity in trying to defend him using todayís form of scientifically accepted proof. If he made light then he made time. If he controls time and light then he can control everything. If Godís creation is now corrupt as the Bible teaches then what is "ineptitude" and what is the result of the natural order of events? If there is an evil spiritual force as well as the good one then what place does modern science, that inherently rejects such notions, have in determining or confirming that reality? I nevertheless commend the honest creationists for endeavoring to show their opponents the obvious evidence that refutes many of the claims of evolutionists but there is a built in limitation to that debate.

The God of the Bible is by his very definition a God of miracles; the miracles of creation, the miracle of the flood and the new creation which followed is a type and pattern of the "new creation" that takes place in the lives of true disciples of Jesus. The flood is a pattern of the death and burial of Christ. The new creation that followed the flood is like the resurrection of Jesus. It is new but it is of the same basic materials. The gospel, like the flood "turned the world upside down." How then can there be any evidence that will ever prove to the skeptic which material was the act of divine intervention and that which is a remainder of the natural products that existed before the flood? What is the use of arguing what Noah did with all of the animal dung when God fit the entire creation into a dot? If God raised the dead and created the universe can he not dispose of excess water and animal dung?

True science has never disproved the truth in the Bible. Each new discovery only tends to confirm the truth it contains. Of course the Bible is a spiritual book so it is rather fruitless for an atheist to confirm anything by using it. He is denied its secrets so he ridicules that which he does not understand. I have always found it to be instructive to go down the lists of so called contradictions in the Bible put together by people who do not have the slightest idea of what the spiritual message is that they are trying to destroy. They are trying to use the plans for an airplane to construct a boat. They just do not get it. If they would have only read one verse first they could have saved themselves plenty of work; "These things are hid from the wise..." but God has "revealed them unto babes." One particular example that is all over the Internet is the supposed ineptitude of God because he does not know the formula for making a circle from a measurement of the diameter. I will give the atheists that are stumped by that question a clue: You forgot to consider the rim of the vessel. Therefore three times the diameter of the circle gives us both the definition of the vessel and the rim. Figure it out.

Like a bug that I saw trying to fly through the window in my car one day, the atheist and the faithless must be frustrated in seeing something that they cannot reach. They peer through the glass and think that they see the way out but they only destroy themselves because they refuse the eye of faith. What if God has chosen to hide evidence from you? What if he has chosen to confuse you? What if you only think that your idea of logic is the way to all truth? Certainly the God of the Bible made it clear that he would do just that. The bug flies constantly into the glass. He explores every square inch of it. All day he flies up and down the glass seeing his goal clearly on the other side. Finally out of pity for the little fella I take a newspaper and try to gently nudge him to the metal frame and then outside. What does the little ingrate do? He gets mad! He is now furious at me because I am trying to help him find true freedom. None of it makes sense to him. He knows exactly what he is doing. He sees the way out and he certainly does not need my help.

Likewise, the atheist scientist explores his world. He sees the goal clearly. He certainly does not need the help of faith. He only needs himself. He thinks he sees but he is blind.

© 2003 by Raymond F. Hendrix. All rights reserved.