Frankly, I can't quite see where he's wrong. If he is right, of course, that's greatly troubling. Surely, to believe something for reasons other than evidence (because Jesus loves me, because I just know, because it's the center of my life, etc) is unreasonable.
This topic isn't asking is there evidence for God. The question here is, don't Christians tend to emphasize faith, what is faith, and why is it a good thing? EDIT: I'm not playing devil's advocate, I've genuinely realized I don't understand this concept, basic as it may be.
Yes, people sometimes define it that way, as fortitude when we emotionally find it hard to believe in God, based on what we know from earlier. But that's not how it's used. We can't understand the Trinity, or how Jesus could be fully God and fully man, or God can be in full control of the world and allow it to be a violent, miserable place for many while being fully good. These are fundamental questions of Christianity and while there's philosophy and speculation on these subjects, most Christians will freely admit they don't understand them and that they "take them on faith." One common phrase is, "They'r called mysteries for a reason", saying that as if it's a positive they're mysteries, as if it's a good thing we don't understand foundational questions about our religion.PennyBassett wrote:. I believe that when it comes to Christianity, we should pray that God would help us strengthen our faith, so that in times of struggle, we can trust him.
It doesn't.PennyBassett wrote:As far as Thomas, I honestly don't see where it says in the Bible, that doubting is a sin.
If I insinuated it is, it was unintentional. The point was "Doubting Thomas" is not seen as a congratulatory title. It is seen as a negative that he asked for evidence. Texts and sermons site his example so we can do the opposite of his example.
So faith takes over where reason stops? So you agree faith is believing things without evidence?jehoshaphat wrote:We are called to question and seek out as much as we can with our reason but there comes a point where reason has been exhausted and the final leap must come from faith.
Isn't that the very definition of jumping to conclusions?jehoshaphat wrote:We are called to gather as much "logical proof" of God's existence but then if it is insufficient then we must make the final leap of faith.
So it's something that makes up for uncertainty. And it's not dumb. Okay, yes, it's not dumb, you can find evidence and still have faith.
So, according to your definition, faith is something (assurance?) that steps in when evidence is insufficient. Is firmly believing something with insufficient evidence a good thing?
And also, it seems like the whole point of God is that we /can't/ prove Him. The teaching about Him is that we have tiny human brains that in no way can comprehend Him. No way are able to put Him in a box, define Him, describe Him, understand Him or why He does everything He does. Paul tells us now we see through a dark mirror, but we will find answers when we come face to face with God. So, to answer your original question, yes, Christians rely on "belief" without evidence because there is some answers and evidence that we will just never find or comprehend.
Something else I have been learning about is that Christianity (believe it or not) is an Eastern religion. Why is that important? Well, people in the East tend to have completely different mindsets than us here in the West. That is, everything having to make sense, provable, and rational is not how they view things. The Eastern thought seems to accept mysteries more. So, if the Eastern thought is still acceptable and not "primeval" then having mystery in our life is not the end of the world. It's natural. Even now we have mysterious in our science and history and medical... everywhere.
So, yes, maybe some parts of Christianity emphasize faith too much. And yet other parts emphasize evidence too much. There should be a healthy balance in between; of things we know for sure and things we can not prove yet still hold to be true.
I completely agree that we need a balance of mystery and evidence.
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It depends how we define sufficient. I define it as evidence that allows you to be reasonably certain until further evidence shows otherwise. Would you agree to that?Isaiah the Ox wrote: We don't have sufficient evidence of anything.
We cannot comprehend Him, yes. How does it follow we cannot prove Him? We proved gravity before we knew about gravitational time dilation. Do you see the principle? We can prove something and know little or even next to nothing about what we have proven exists.Isaiah the Ox wrote:And also, it seems like the whole point of God is that we /can't/ prove Him. The teaching about Him is that we have tiny human brains that in no way can comprehend Him. No way are able to put Him in a box, define Him, describe Him, understand Him or why He does everything He does.
Does that concept make sense? Is that provable? Is it rational?Isaiah the Ox wrote:That is, everything having to make sense, provable, and rational is not how they view things.
Don't you see a number of things wrong with that comparison?Isaiah the Ox wrote:It's natural. Even now we have mysterious in our science and history and medical... everywhere.
In conclusion. How can we know something without evidence, and if you think we can know things without evidence, pray site evidence to support that claim.
You made a bunch of good points and I probably don't know how to answer them. But I think I'll just settle with this quote from you:
That's the thing. We are working with such complicated ideas, that minds, at least my own, can't understand it. My point is, God in general doesn't make sense. He's mind blowing and complicated and everything. We might think we could prove him scientifically without a shadow of a doubt, but He might have a greater plan and doesn't allow Himself to be discovered that way. That's the thing, if you believe in a God like mine, ours, you basically have a trump card for any argument. Is that a good thing? Yes and no. We can just toss aside things that don't make sense because we can know there are things we won't ever know on this earth. But, it sounds incredibly stupid to our modern minds, to have such a big trump card. We think it's unscientific, prehistoric, false. But, I don't know. To me, even though this is odd and somewhat contradicting of myself to say this, God existing makes sense to me. The way I interpret history and what I see in this world, I see enough proof for me. Everyone's different though, and I understand that this could be an issue that holds people back from belief in God. But if you want to debate the philosophical points that I haven't researched (but probably should), then you'll have to find someone else to debate. =pThe PF Man wrote:Does that concept make sense? Is that provable? Is it rational?