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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.

John Locke on Faith

First Comment!

Hooray for my first reader comment!

I want to encourage interaction at my blog, so I’ll reproduce the comment and my response:

 

A friend asked:

“What does ‘faith’ mean in this context? To come later?”

He wanted to know what I mean by faith. I wrote back:

“Here faith means trusting God. It means believing that God has spoken, and believing God’s promises. Faith comes at the conclusion of a reasoning process–not as the presupposition to it.”

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.