Faith That Is Real

‘Faith’ is needed to become a Christian, but there are two concepts concerning faith.  The two ideas of faith run like this: One idea of faith would be a blind leap in the dark.  A blind leap in which you believe something with no reason (or no adequate reason), you just believe it.  This is what I mean by a blind leap of faith.  The other idea of faith, which has no relationship with this, none whatsoever, is that you are asked to believe something and bow before that something on the basis of good and adequate reasons.  There is no relationship between those two concepts of faith.   

The biblical concept of faith is very much the second and not the first.  You are not asked to believe in a blind leap of faith.  The Bible teaches that there are good and sufficient reasons to know that these things are true.  If you examine the ministry of the Apostle Paul and also of Christ, you find they endlessly answered questions.  There was no concept here of ‘Keep quiet, just believe”; it just does not exist.  Paul answered the questions of the Jews, he answered the questions of the non-Jews, he was always answering questions; and the book of Romans certainly answered the questions of those without the Bible as well as of those with it.  

There are good and sufficient reasons to know that these things are true.  We have already dealt with the fact of reality and everybody having to deal with reality: (1) the existence of the universe and its form; (2) the distinctiveness of man (you); and (3) you can relate these to a third thing, and that is the examination of the historicity of Scripture.   

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There 

An Answer To Lostness

‘Lostness’ is answered by the existence of a Creator.  Christianity does not begin with ‘accept Christ as Savior.’  Christianity begins with ‘In the beginning God created the heavens (the total cosmos) and the earth.’  That is the answer to the twenty first-century and its lostness.  When a person can understand that there ‘is’ a God who is Creator, then they are ready to hear and understand the ‘second lostness’ (the original cause of all lostness) and God’s solution for lostness which is the death of Christ.   

In summary:  God in His grace has shut us up by the totality of reality to the biblical answers – i.e., there are good, adequate and sufficient reasons to know that the Christian answers are truth – so much so that if we do not bow to those answers, the Bible says we are disobedient and guilty. 

Those who object to the position that there are good, adequate, and sufficient reasons to know with our reason that Christianity is true are left with a probability position at some point.  At some point and in some manner within how they are reasoning and framing the Christian view, they are left with a leap of faith.  This does not say that within such view that they are not Christians, but it means that they in their limited view can, at best, only offer one more probability to twenty first -century relativistic people to who everything is only probability.  They are offering one more leap of faith without reason to a generation that has heard a thousand leaps of faith proposed in regard to the crucial things of human life.  I would repeat that what is left is that Christianity becomes watered-down to the level of a probability.  

Real, truly understood, take-hold-of,  life-changing Christianity begins with one person.  That person is Jesus Christ – Son of God.  He is NOT a probability or a leap of faith!  He is God the Creator’s solution to man’s problem of lostness.  Thus He ‘saves’ us from being lost.  He steps into our lostness and gives us light to see the truth of existence and self.    

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There 

About Being ‘Lost’

There is no where that people can go that they can escape the things of grace that God has given them in the reality that exists.  The reality of God the Creator is ‘there’ in the existence and reality of the universe and nature and the existence and reality of the uniqueness and specialness of man. And if we love people enough, and we care about them enough, we can usually find ways to talk to them, no matter how deep in their well they are.  That is what I am saying.  It is not that we use a universal formula to reach people, either in evangelism or in apologetics.  

When we say a person is ‘lost’ we usually think of evangelically lost, that he or she is a sinner and needs to accept Christ as Savior.  Being ‘lost’ has nothing to do with how loving and kind someone may be or how brilliant they are.  No.  When we say ‘lost’, we clearly are using it as being ‘lost’ as in separated relationally from their Creator God who is there and who loves them.  But what we must realize is that these people do not know that they are lost in that sense, call it evangelically.  How could they?  They do not believe there is right and wrong, they do not believe there is a God, they do not believe there is an absolute, there is no reason for them to think of themselves as a sinner.  Few believe in guilt anymore.  There is only sickness, or guilt-feelings, or sociological nonconformity.  There is no such thing as true guilt that creates a separation barrier between God and man.  How much meaning does our talking about accepting Christ as Savior have for such a person?  But our whole generation does relate to and have a second sense of being lost which is valid, and that is they are without meaning in the world, without purpose, without morals, without a basis for law, no final principles, no final answers for anything.  They know they are lost in that sense.  All ‘lost’ people naturally think about meaning and purpose of life, about meaning to existence.  When we turn to the Bible, the Bible makes plain that indeed they are lost in both senses – they are lost evangelically; but without God, they are also lost in the modern sense as well. 

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There 

It Is Enough

(Friends…the next post will be May 11th 🙂)

Let me repeat a phrase from yesterday… God shuts everyone up to the fact of reality… and everyone has to deal with the reality that is.  

When we turn to the Bible, the Bible says that on the basis of God’s created world and on the basis of who we are, there are good and sufficient reasons to know the biblical answers are true. People come to the knowledge that this is adequate on different levels, depending on their intelligence, their education, their personality, the way their mind works; but at some point they come to the place where indeed they have what to them should be good and sufficient and adequate answers.  

So what you have is the flow of the totality of reality — instead of being focused on religious things only, it is religious things as a part of reality. And instead of this concept being contrary to the Bible, it is the way the Bible is written. It is not “just a religious book”; the Bible is rooted in space-time history and speaks of the totality of reality.  

The glory of the Bible is that it is enough for every age and it is enough for every person. When you consider the early chapters of Genesis on through Deuteronomy, given about 1500 B.C. to Moses, it gave truth to those people in that day. Now we come to our age, and we know a lot that those people did not know about the cosmos, all kinds of things, and those same chapters (and the rest of the Bible) are enough to give truth to us. If Christ does not come back for another 500 years the people then will know more than we do now, and the Bible will give truth to them. So, whether it is the individual, no matter what his level of education, sophistication, etc., or whether it is the age we live in with the knowledge we have, the Bible is enough to give the answer to the questions raised by reality. 

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There 

Truth To Discuss

It is of importance to say the ‘Bible measures up to history’. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside of your own head — whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to be rooted in history. Whether we are considering the history of the Old Testament, whether we are considering the history of Christ, including the resurrection, or Paul’s journeys, it is insisted on as real history. So now we have three interwoven parts. Usually I have dealt with the first two because I think they are the two which touch more the twenty first-century person, but the third is also there. We have to face the reality of the universe and its having an existence and having a form. We have to face the reality in the uniqueness of man. We are able to discuss the fact that the Bible is rooted in history.  It has a beginning in relationship to history.  Its reference to the future is in relationship to a historical story that unfolds in relationship to history.  

Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There