Thursday, July 17, 2008

Flimsy Faith Won't Last

I just came across this quote by Os Guinness from his book, The Dust of Death:

"It is ironic that, although fundamentalists are implacably opposed to liberalism, their extreme reaction shows the same weakness. They, too, stress the leap of faith and make irrationality almost a principle, dismissing the serious questions of seeking modern men as intellectual smoke-screens or diversions to conceal deeper personal problems. All this masks a desperate intellectual insecurity, barely disguised by the surrounding hedge of taboos to preserve purity. The strident intolerance of much guilt-driven evangelism betrays the same insecurity. In these circles, much that is taught has to be unlearned in the wider school of life, and it is not surprising that universities are littered with dropouts from such groups. Their non-rational, subjective faith is cruelly punctured by varsity-level questions, and many manage to survive only by resorting to a severely schizophrenic faith which they hold to be true religiously but not intellectually, historically, or scientifically."

That was written in 1973, and yet we Christians as a whole have still not aggressively addressed this problem in our churches and in our own hearts. We've taken the lazy way out. Unfortunately, the lazy way of encouraging people to ignore doubts and questions in order to preserve a flimsy sort of "faith," is precisely what prevents the development of a solid, lasting faith that rests on reality. And ironically, the "hide your doubts" approach also betrays a complete lack of faith, for only those who think there are no answers to be found are afraid to ask the questions.

We are not non-rational beings. No one can believe something by sheer force of will if he doesn't think it's true. At least, no one can do so for long or with any real power. "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins," and deep down, we all know it. What good does it do anyone to pretend otherwise?

Taken from Stand to Reason

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