Evidence and Faith

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Why Have Faith in Jesus? Is It Reason vs. Revelation?

In his guest post at The Gospel Coalition a couple days ago, Jason Helopoulos wrote on Evangelism, Reason, and Faith.

I enjoy reading Helopoulos, so I was surprised to find him setting up the false dichotomy between reason and faith. His article revealed a mystical approach to what knowledge is and to why we have faith in Jesus. My mission includes helping people value their own reason. I have to argue against Helopoulos on this topic.

Knowledge in the Bible

I surveyed the Bible to find its position on the status of knowledge. Does the Bible say knowledge/certainty is impossible to the unbeliever? Actually, I found that sinners can know many things. What they can’t know is the deceit of their own heart. But they can know good and evil. In fact, it is for knowing the good, yet choosing the evil, that people are condemned (Romans 1-2).

Below is a set of verses to help combat the mystical approach to knowledge (presuppositionalism). We see the common-sense view of knowledge: we learn by observation and reasoning. People come to faith because they see evidence; seeing leads to believing.

Knowledge plays a huge role in Scripture. In these verses we find a treasury of insight about what knowledge is possible to man and about how knowledge works. Enjoy!

Understanding and Then Faith

Imagine that the Apostle John approached you and said, “Believe in Jesus. Later I will tell you who he was and what he did.” What would be the content of your belief? Faith must be in something. A level of understanding precedes faith. Faith then opens the door for greater understanding.

A famous 20th Century theologian, Cornelius Van Til, argued the reverse. He argued that, unless God exists, no understanding can be possible to man.