Is Faith Blind?
In every era, faith is put on trial and a verdict is demanded. Perhaps the most noted accusation against faith is that it is blind. By this, the accuser is suggesting that faith is contrary to reason and logic, that faith cannot be supported or proven. Therefore, since faith cannot be qualified by any measurable terms, those who say they have faith have no argument, thus they must only have “blind faith”. Yet, is that true? Is faith guilty of being blind?
H.L. Mencken, an American journalist in the 20th century, defined faith as “an illogical belief in the occurrence of the impossible”. It would seem that he agrees that faith is guilty of being blind. Furthermore, Richard Dawkins, one of the elite atheists of our day, wrote a book called God Delusion. In it, he claims faith opposes reason and he called faith a delusion. He describes faith as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence.
So, is faith blind? Is faith a delusion? Perhaps the problem is a definition of terms. There is a vast difference between blind faith and biblical faith. Blind faith is faith in faith. Biblical faith is faith in God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Biblical faith is when faith and reason come together as partners. David Horner, a professor of philosophy, says “Faith and reason are friends and partners. They go together. They need each other and cannot flourish or even survive apart. Our faith should be a reasonable faith, and our reason should be a faithful reason…”
Biblical faith is greatly different from blind faith. Biblical faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 by stating, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (NASB) The word “assurance” could be translated as concrete, substance or confidence. The word “hoped” could be translated as fixed or expected. The word “conviction” could also be translated as proof or evidence. Realizing these multiple translations help us to see that faith is not blind. In fact, it sees so clearly that it can even see the invisible!
Realizing that faith is not blind allows us to “know” and “show” truth to a world prone to skepticism. During the infamous Age of Reason, Renee Descartes uttered his renowned statement, “Cogito ergo sum” (“I think, therefore I am”). From his submission has risen an entire school of thought called “Cartesian Doubt”. In this school of thought, pupils are taught to question and doubt everything.
The reality is that this can be a healthy exercise, so long as reason does not become blind like faith is for some. By this, I mean that sometimes those who cling to reason and logic become blind when the supernatural occurs. This is the same response as those who have blind faith when reason and logic are introduced. Faith and reason are not contrary to one another, instead, they complement one another. Each helps the other to see clearly so that there is neither blind faith nor blind reason.
Accepting the truth, we come to the realization that the Holy Spirit helps us with knowing truth. Argument and evidence help us with showing the truth. The Holy Spirit aids our “knowing”; argument and evidence aid our “showing”. The atheists and evolutionists wring their hands striving to find the “missing link” that holds their universe together, while the Christian can clap his hands in praise of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
Finally, we come to one final thought concerning the subject of faith. How is it possible for there to be such a cataclysmic difference in understanding between those who exercise faith and those who embrace reason? The answer to this question, in my estimation, is an argument of evidence versus circumstance.
The truth is that both the creationist and the evolutionist have the same evidence to work with, yet they have a different outcome. How is this possible? It is because of perspective and prejudice based on circumstance. I have discovered that most people who reject faith have done so because of a perspective or prejudice they have developed due to an issue in life. It could have been the circumstance of the death of a loved one, a disease or a traumatic experience. For others, it is a circumstance of pride that puffs up intellect beyond reason.
On the other hand, some claim faith but their faith is blind. In essence, they have faith in faith. They reject reason at the sake of their faith being blind. To those this applies to, I challenge you to remember that Jesus shared in the Great Commandment that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, MIND and strength. (emphasis mine)
To love God with all our mind means to love God with all our intellectual capacity. We must not have blind faith; instead, we must have biblical faith. We must have confidence that the God of creation is able to marry faith and reason without contradiction.
Is faith blind? It doesn’t have to be. Biblical faith sees so clearly, it can even see the invisible!
Dr. Travis W. Farris