|Commentaries on matters of faith, current
events and issues from a Christian perspective by C. David Hess
David Hess is the pastor of the West Henrietta Baptist Church in West Henrietta, NY
You Gotta Have Faith
A number of years ago I attended a national convocation on evangelism in Washington, D.C. One of the pleasures of such a conference is the making of new friends. One new acquaintance asked me what I thought my major gifts were. After thinking hard about it, I responded that I thought I had a gift in reaching secular people and those with intellectual doubt about the truth of Christianity. I responded that this was the case because there was a great deal of skepticism in me. Faith has never been easy for me. Thus I can be empathetic with others for whom Christian faith is not easy. But what is faith?
Tony Campolo writes that when his son was a young boy he once defined faith as “believing what you know isn’t true.” I can see how easy it is for many to arrive at that definition of faith, but faith for me has never been that. I would rather define faith as believing in that which you think really is true though you cannot absolutely prove it.
As long as human knowledge is partial (and I believe that will always be the case, at least on this side of death) faith is necessary (for the atheist as well as the Christian).
I always have been struck by the words of Harry Emerson Fosdick quoted by John Claypool when he was trying to continue with his life after he had learned that his eight year old daughter, Laura Lue, had leukemia (she later died of it): “A man can put off making up his mind, but he can’t put off making up his life.”
He was pointing out the truth that we cannot refuse to live until all our questions are answered. Answers will come only by and through our living (and Christians believe at the end of our living). The Paul was right: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2013 C. David Hess