Some Thoughts on Faith
"Faith is a rational response to the evidence of God's self-revelation in nature, human history, the Scriptures and his resurrected Son."
-W. Bingham Hunter, The God Who Hears (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1986), 153
"What is faith? Sometimes faith can almost be palpable. Faith drains the guilt that oppresses. Faith replaces despondency with hope. Faith infuses with new direction and purpose. Faith unlocks heaven. Faith is like cool water soaking parched souls."
-Lee Strobel, NIV Case for Christ Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 1125
"Our own pride hinders our ability to believe. Generally, it's not because of lack of evidence that people turn from God; it's due to their pride or their will. God is not going to force anyone into the fold, because love never works coercively — it only works persuasively."
-adapted from an interview with Dr. Norman L. Geisler, NIV Case for Christ Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 1252
" . . . Faith is a reasonable step in the same direction that the evidence is pointing. In other words, faith goes beyond merely acknowledging that the facts of science and history point toward God. It's responding to those facts by investing trust in God — a step that's fully warranted due to the supporting evidence."
-Lee Strobel, NIV Case for Christ Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 1534
"If a man were to tell you that he had a dollar in his pocket, and you chose to believe him, you'd be exercising faith. Hebrews says faith is the evidence of things not seen ('Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.' Hebrews 11:1 NIV). Now if the man removes the dollar from his pocket and puts it out in plain view, then your faith is destroyed and replaced with knowledge.
"Sometimes people think faith means knowing something is true beyond any doubt whatsoever, and so they try to prove faith through empirical evidence. But that's the wrong approach. If you can see and touch the object, you don't need faith. God, for his own reasons, has not subjected himself to that kind of proof. Instead, people should discover corroborating evidence, and then make a choice by taking a step of faith in the same direction that the evidence is pointing."
-adapted from an interview with Dr. Lynn Anderson, NIV Case for Christ Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 1710
"Atheism cannot credibly account for the Big Bang, the fine-tuning of the universe, the emergence of life, the existence of objective moral laws, the supernatural confirmation of the Bible and the resurrection. The only hypothesis that explains them all is that there's a divine Creator whose unique Son is Jesus of Nazareth. Someone could try to explain away the evidence, no matter how outlandish the arguments would eventually become — even in the face of obvious truth. Ultimately, though, faith isn't about having perfect and complete answers to every single objection. After all, we don't demand that level of conclusive proof in any other area of life.
"The point is that we certainly do have sufficient evidence about God upon which to act. And in the end, that's the issue. Faith is about a choice, a step of the will, a decision to want to know God personally. It's saying, 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!' (See Mark 9:24). It's the person who wants to know God that God reveals himself to. Or as Dr. Lynn Anderson, president of Hope Network Ministries, says, 'When you scratch below the surface, there's either a will to believe or there's a will not to believe. That's the core of it."
-adapted from an interview with Dallas Willard, NIV Case for Christ Study Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 1776