What is more important: A Well Thought Out Conclusion or Faith?

Now this is an important question in apologetics to me, as it relates to answering the question of the Bible, Religion, God, Biblical Morality, and Bible Difficulties.

 

Which is a more valuable tool –A Well Thought Out Conclusion/Decision or Faith?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding [intelligence]; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Now the reason why this topic is important to me is because I consider myself a reasonable and logical person.  A reasonable decision maker, whose basis his decisions only on relevant factual information.  But after being presented with this quote that I came across on the blog Left Christianity it got me thinking:

“I don’t see how faith is more valuable than a well thought out conclusions.” – Brenda of Left Christianity

It made me think; Is my Faith Reasonable? Is my Faith better than a well thought conclusion?  Which would I rather have FAITH or a well-thought out conclusion?  What is a better decision making tool -FAITH or a Well Thought out Conclusion?

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles[explains] the word of truth. -2 Timothy 2:15

I have met too many Christians that make decisions all in the name of FAITH.  {i.e.: I use to go to a prosperity word of faith church, I’m no longer in that non-sense. And I have known people to give up their car, their condo, their income tax check, their mortgage check all in the namesake of faith.  I have known people turn down good jobs, because they believed God would provide a better one. Some Even Stop taking their medication.}  And this was done all in the name of FAITH!  To what degree is this acceptable or reasonable?

“People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.” -Blaise Pascal

Maybe the problem is that I don’t understand what faith is? Or I don’t understand how faith works?  Or Maybe I just have a complete lack of faith?  Or Maybe, God never gave me enough sufficient faith to overcome my levels of doubt?  After all we are all given a measure of faith.(Romans 12:3)  And that one should just have Faith & Believe in God.

And to certain degree this level of dogmatic faith is what bothers me the most.  How can we as Christian deny logic and reasoning all in the namesake of faith!

Faith, What is it: “Now faith is the confidence [substance] in what we hope for and the assurance[evidence] about what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1

It somewhat perplexes me that FAITH can be the primary decision making tool for some Christians.  Cause I’ve seen it fail so many people.  (Just being Honest.)  The answer FAITH just seems too easy and simplistic to me at times. It makes it sound like I don’t need evidence of God, and shouldn’t either.

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  ― Carl Sagan
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About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
This entry was posted in christian, christian faith, confusion, doubt faith, faith, reason and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to What is more important: A Well Thought Out Conclusion or Faith?

  1. Ryan says:

    I don’t think the two are polar opposites. It is possible I believe to have faith based on a well thought out conclusion.

  2. Ryan says:

    Please let me know what you think about this:

  3. Ryan says:

    It’s the same guy I was talking about before. If you go to his youtube channel he has quite alot of videos. I find them really confronting, but also they make me stop reflect.

  4. Ryan says:

    Here’s another one I found to be challanging:

  5. Ryan says:

    I won’t post any more on this thread, sorry if Im clogging up your posts. I just wanted to share them with you, because they have been challanging me.

  6. unkleE says:

    I agree with Ryan. There is no reason not to have both. But people are all different, and some will have more reason and less intuition, faith, emotion, experience, aesthetics or randomness in their decision-making, no matter whether we are talking about religious belief, relationships or whatever. Others will tend to have less reason and more of something else.

    I happen to be in the “mostly reason” category, but I know other people who tend to be more based on experience or relationships, and none the worse for that. The good thing about christian faith is that it caters for all sorts of people, which few other worldviews do. We all need each other and the balance of different types of people. (One of the reasons why I think strong atheism is so unattractive to many at the moment – all the hardcore rationalistic nerds {like me!} have gathered together and it’s often not a pretty sight. They need some balance.)

    • There are many facets of this,

      for example, In the US during the 1800’s when america was dealing with slavery and racism. It was taught that whites were the superior species and that black slaves were to be the inferior species. Now this was justified using the argument that this was the way God created it.

      And many former slaves, instead of fighting for the freedom, would conclude instead with the previos argument, and that in the end God will judge the slave owner harshly. That instead of reasoning ones self to freedom, the slave reasoned themselves into permanent bondage.

      Another aspect of this, is that we are taught through some forms in christianity that the only thing we need or desire should be God, not money nor materlistic things. Because of this mindset, this has a tendency to stifle ambition. To make the believer only thing about God, and nothing else. And all fleshly desries or worldly ambitious do not glorify God, so the christian should generally avoid them or not seak them.

  7. I don’t see the reason thing. There’s no reason to believe in God. There’s no evidence. I know UnkleE will disagree with me on this, but I’ve never seen any evidence for God that works. Of course, I’ve put myself in a difficult position now because believers will no doubt throw lots of pieces of evidence at me and it’s a long job to examine them one by one. But that’s what I did on leaving the faith, and it’s the conclusion I came to.

    So belief in God is based on faith. Everyone says it’s based at least *partly* on faith. And in other areas of life, taking something entirely on faith is unwise. We’re saying that God is a special case, where it’s good to take it on faith, while in other areas of life you would never do that.

    Why? What reasoning is there that God should be a special case?

    I received a letter from a Christian yesterday telling me that without revelation from heaven, I would not believe. Well, why have I not been given this revelation? I spent two decades diligently seeking it in good faith (indeed, I felt I had it for much of those). And there are *a lot* of people who have not been given this revelation. Are we supposed to conclude that God doesn’t want them to know Him? But I thought God was willing that none should perish?

  8. unkleE says:

    “There’s no reason to believe in God. There’s no evidence. I know UnkleE will disagree with me on this”
    You got something right!! : )

    “I don’t see the reason thing.”
    “So belief in God is based on faith.”
    This is poor logic, Jonny. The premise “I don’t see the reason thing” can only lead to the conclusion “So for me belief in God would have to be based on faith.”

    But it is quite wrong logically to make the statement you have made. Because for me, belief in God is based substantially on reason and evidence. And I can give that reason and ask questions that atheism cannot satisfactorily answer (in my opinion, and the opinion of many atheists too). So there’s reason on both sides and there’s mystery and unanswered questions on both sides.

    Everyone’s different, and for some people, your statement would be true, for others (like me) it is false. So you really should qualify your statements, and not generalise so much.

    End of friendly rant.

  9. I’m beginning to see that there is a deep, emotional aspect of faith that will often drive people…well beyond what reason ever will. I do think a lot of people act without thinking and label it “faith” and when it fails they can just blame god for it.
    At the same time though, I believe that true faith requires a calculated risk. What I mean is that that there is some “evidence” (however the person decides to define that) to support the decision being made, but the unknown is still much larger, and that “hope” and “assurance” we read about in Heb. 11:6 becomes a reality.
    When it is all said and done, Brenda from “Left Christianity” may very well be onto something though.

    • and you what QF, one thing I’m also starting to notice, is that many atheist may not understand is that the decision to become a christian is an emotional decision. And the decision to question or to doubt christianity or your faith is also (partly) an emotional decision. So we need to be sensitive also to the emotional side of this.

      Because even though unbelief is or may be the logical decision, but in many cases it is sparked by an emotional decision or influenced by an emotional circumstance.

  10. unkleE says:

    “At the same time though, I believe that true faith requires a calculated risk. What I mean is that that there is some “evidence” (however the person decides to define that) to support the decision being made, but the unknown is still much larger”

    But QF, the very same is true for non-believers as for believers. Brenda’s conclusion is a calculated risk, just as mine is.

    In risk management, risk = consequence x likelihood. So if a person is choosing between christianity and non-belief, the consequences of being wrong are very large, and weighted in favour of christianity, so the likelihood of unbelief being true needs to be enormous to counterbalance. This, of course, is the logic behind Pascal’s Wager, which atheists tend to scorn rather derisively, but it’s simple risk management.

    None of this should change what a person chooses – they should choose what they believe is true – but it does point out that the risks are actually not an argument against christianity.

  11. dsholland says:

    But risk management doesn’t sustain. When the nastiness of life hits the fan, reason alone is insufficient (I know you get that). Where did the colloquial wisdom there are few (no) atheists in foxholes come from?
    I think love is like that too. Most would agree there is an element of almost irrational passion in any love worth the label. Parent for child, husband for wife, redeemer for redeemed.

    I think what often happens is we choose and then look for reasons to support the choice. Sometimes we have to look harder (which might be an indication of the rationality of our choice).

    For me the world without My Loving Lord is not one I can bear.

    So I choose Love.

  12. Pingback: The Best of the BitterSweet Blog | The BitterSweet End

  13. Pingback: Religion vs. Science: The Thinking of Evidence vs. Faith | The BitterSweet End

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