Faith versus Knowledge

I don’t know for sure that there is a God.

I hope with all my heart that Jesus Christ was crucified and rose from the dead after 3 days, redeeming the world from sin and death.  But I don’t know for sure that that is true.

Yet I still place my trust in the hope that it is true, and I try to live every day as if it is true.

That’s what faith is.  Faith is not certain knowledge.  For a Christian, faith is placing your trust, your hope and the compass for your life in the hands of Jesus, even when you doubt.  More generally, faith is placing your trust, hope and moral compass in any belief system, holy book or moral creed that you cannot be certain is true or right.

We have knowledge of things that we can see, or scientifically prove.  Faith is something different. Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NRSV)

At its worst, faith blinds people, or sets them up in their own minds as God’s burning-eyed co-judges.

But, for most of us, faith is much more benign.  It gives us a way of looking at the world that comforts us in the trust that the universe is in benevolent hands that have a purpose for us, even when that isn’t readily apparent.  It gives us hope that mercy and justice are real, even when they seem hidden or far away.  It inspires us to better behavior.

Some people have a simple faith of acceptance and certainty, and I don’t begrudge them that.  My own faith is different.  It is a lifelong process of wrestling with the doubts, asking the questions, surrendering to the mystery, and living in the hope that my God will never give up on me. 

*** NOTE:  I apologize to my readers for the long gap between blog posts.  The summer and early fall were very busy.  I’m KIND OF back to a normal schedule now, and hope to start posting every week or two again.  I have some more thoughts about faith, and some final thoughts in my “Be the Change” series.  And then I hope to pivot this blog more to sharing my research for my next book.