The Nature of Faith

Everybody has faith in something. In our culture there are two general extremes: the Christian who believes in an omnipotent omniscient God who loves each person individually, and the empiricist who believes in what his senses can tell him. And in each case, a person has to be able to accept what his worldview can’t tell him.

An empiricist, for example, has to believe that although energy is neither created nor destroyed, there had to be something to cause the vaunted Big Bang. He has to accept that he can never understand how, on the quantum level, matter is both matter and energy and that somehow our observations change it. He also has to accept that some things, some substances, can alter our perceptions and he has to believe that his normal everyday experiences are true and unaltered. Among other things.

And there are countless things that I, as a Christian, can’t understand. For example, I can’t understand how a God who loves His creation would construct the world in such a way that there are earthquakes and tsunamis. I can’t understand why things like tapeworms and viruses exist, or why God spent so much time humoring someone like Gideon but doesn’t show Himself more clearly to people like Steve. Among other things. But at the end of the day, I’m more comfortable accepting those uncertainties and believing that my experiences of God are real.

In the end, that’s what faith is—choosing what you’re comfortable not knowing and allowing what you do know to fall in line with the rest.

So, what are you okay with not understanding?

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