One of the biggest misconceptions people have about Christianity is the nature of the faith we claim. Sometimes people who are not Christians reject the faith we have because they believe it is a put-your-brain-on-a-shelf-and-question-nothing blind proposition. I admit there are people who come to any religious system simply wanting to have an easy blind faith in something bigger than themselves, but the reality is, when it comes to Christianity, that simply is not the expectation.The Bible book we call Hebrews, which is actually a letter written to early Hebrew Christians, defines faith for us as,
“... the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Now, let’s consider what that means. First, what is the assurance of things hoped for? That sure sounds like blind faith, doesn’t it?
Well, in the Bible the hope we have is the promise of eternal life and forgiveness of our sinful nature and actions through Jesus Christ. It is not a hope like, ‘Boy I sure hope that happens.’ Rather it is a sure hope of something already in place. Faith is the absolute assurance that what Christ Jesus has promised to those who believe in Him, will in fact come to pass.
What about the conviction of things not seen?
This is not a blind faith either. It is actually a logically reasoned conviction based on reasonable evidence, upon which a reasonable decision about what is true is made. And it is a Biblical principle to examine truth claims, putting them to the test, and then settling on what is found to be true. The apostle Paul instructed the Thessalonian church to put everything to the test and to hold fast to what is found to be good. In Revelation, Jesus commended the Ephesian church for doing the same thing. In the record of the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles reasoned with people day and night, presented eye witness testimony, and explained hard to understand Scriptures so that the people they encountered might consider and decide for themselves. Both Luke and John wrote the books attributed to them in the Bible for the specific purposes of setting forth in writing factual testimony of the events surrounding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
But what about science? Don’t Christians reject science and just have dogmatic religious beliefs in spite of the evidence?
Some do live blithely accept dogmatic religious ideas without question, but as I said earlier, that is not the expectation of a Christian. In actuality, Christians do not reject science. What many Christians reject is certain interpretations of scientific data, specifically those results and secular interpretations of the data which reflect, not an unbiased consideration of all possibilities, including special creation, but which begin with an assumption that only godless natural processes are possible explanations.
Surprisingly, when scientists do consider the possibility of divine cause and direction, along with the biblical record of history, the data seems to make sense. Technical papers and research projects undertaken by Bible-believing Christians in the scientific community abound, if only one is willing to look. A great resource to check out is The Institute for Creation Research, or www.icr.org.
And the creator of all that is should indeed be seen in his handiwork. One of the most beautiful parts of the Bible is Psalm 19, in which the author talks about how even the starry heavens declare the glory of God. In the story of Job, God instructs him over and over to consider all kinds of natural wonders as evidence of His power and faithfulness. And this is what God has called us to do as well.
Have you ever wondered why human beings are so taken with the ideas of exploration and adventure? It is built into us to want to know and explore the things that pertain to our existence, including who made us, where we are going, and why we are here. If we have been created with a longing for exploration and adventure, it follows that there are things to know and our creator wants us to explore and adventure. What Christians understand, is that everything, even the starry heavens, declare the glory of God. All of creation speaks to his existence.
It is okay to have doubts and to question God. It is okay not to know something. It is okay to challenge God with hard questions and explore for the answers. It is okay to explore and wonder and seek answers. If we are honest, we will do so with an openness to the possibility that God is real and that what He has revealed to us in His word can be trusted. And if His word is trustworthy, then so is the promise of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of every sin that separates us from God!
If you are willing, open enough, and brave enough to consider the possibility that God is real and the Bible can be trusted, I challenge you to simply, humbly ask God to reveal himself to you, and I believe He will. It may not happen all at once like a lightning bolt from heaven, but through an adventure of exploration and discovery, you will find the truest friend and Savior of the world.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 2 Thessalonians 5:20-22
 Revelation 2:2-3