Think about this for a minute.
Why do people believe what they believe? Why do you have certain beliefs? Why does your neighbor perhaps have different beliefs than you?
We have freedom to believe what we want to. Some people choose their beliefs based on what’s true -and they sincerely do their best to figure out the truth and follow it.
They carefully search the facts, verify them, and then align their beliefs with things that can be proven. This is a Faith Founded on Fact. It’s an “eyes-wide-open” faith. It’s the faith of a thinker.
Others choose their beliefs as a way to justify a wish or an idle hope. Doing this is called Rationalization. It’s also known as blind faith. It’s a non-thinking, unbelieving faith.
Here are some examples of a Faith Founded on Fact -where people make judgments based on eyewitness observations along with clear logic and reason:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life- 1John1:1
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16
To these also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen by them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Acts 1:3
A Faith Founded on Fact thoroughly investigates the claims with all available senses, and fully and sincerely seeks the truth -wherever it leads.
This is the faith of the believers who wrote the books of the Bible. It’s a faith that can be trusted, because they thoroughly investigated it, were eyewitnesses, and they honestly reported what they saw.
Their writings have withstood the test of time -and with flying colors!
A Faith of Rationalization
Contrast this with the other kind of faith – a faith of rationalization – a faith founded on a wish -or a hope-something that is not fact-based:
“I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.” –Thomas Nagel, Eminent Contemporary Philosopher in his book: The Last Word
Nagel is University Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University. All that education and prestige, but due to his preconceived notions, he continues to wrestle against the facts because he wants reality to reflect something that aligns with his rationalization.
Here’s another one:
“I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently assumed it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption.” And the reason? “We objected to morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”
Who is quoted above? Alduous Huxley, grandson of “Darwin’s Bulldog” Thomas Henry Huxley as quoted by Os Guinness in Fool’s Talk -Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion.
Huxley was skilled in the art of self-deception -a gifted intellectual who was very adept at rationalizing his beliefs.
How do we steer clear of the fate of people like Nagel and Huxley? And how do we emulate the true faith of the Apostles who proclaimed the truth of the risen Messiah?
That’s what Faith Founded on Fact is all about.
If you like what you read, come back often and share this site with your friends!