Faith Vs. Proof
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield Founder & Editor FaithInspires.Org
As modern people we are inclined to believe only that which we can see, feel, and taste. We place great trust in logic or the scientific method. What then of faith with which we can do none of the above ? Faith cannot exist in the presence of proof, they are mutually exclusive concepts. So you see faith in the spiritual sense runs counter to our modern way of thinking.
Look first of all at what is says quite plainly at 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.” Here scripture tells us directly that faith is not something which can be seen. However it also tells us that we are to guide our lives according to our faith in that which cannot be seen.
Hebrews 11:1 says much the same thing, ” Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So Hebrews tells us that faith is in fact itself evidence ! How can this be ? For further clarification look at the words of Romans 8:24, ” For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?” The intangible nature of faith is also seen in the works of St. Augustine who said,” Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” Our faith gives us hope, despite the fact our faith cannot be seen. Faith is what gives us hope even when the “facts,” or circumstances are against us.
Part of the reason that faith cannot be proven by earthly methods, is that it can accomplish so much more than our feeble minds can grasp. We see this in the words of Andrew Murray, “Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.” Faith coming from God is greater than the things of this world. So it follows that the things of this world would be insufficient to define it, or prove its existence. This perspective is shared by Alister McGrath long time president of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. McGrath wrote “Faith is not something that goes against the evidence, it goes beyond it. The evidence is saying to us, ‘There is another country. There is something beyond mere reason’.” So in McGrath’s view faith cannot be defined or proven through logic and reason, because faith is so far beyond their power.
Faith is then not based on any of the things we would normally view as “proof.” They are based on our trust in God, and the unique nature of who he is. The great Christian thinker A.W. Tozer made the same point this way, “True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God has said it”. So faith is about trust not proof !
Faith is also not without its rewards. Consider Christ’s own words on the subject. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29 (KJV)
Faith from God, and in God is the force which allows us to exceed what “ the world” can conceive. Because the world cannot fully grasp faith it cannot fully prove it. However the strong, mature Christian through prayer, and immersion in scripture gains the ability to tap into its power. Faith comes not from evidence found in this world, but trust in Christ !