Chapter 10 addresses the often-repeated claim, “I only believe in things that can be proved! Faith is just believing in something you want to be true without any evidence or reason!” and its many sub-versions. Andy cuts to the heart of the matter and addresses the two main points: 1) Does the word faith really mean belief without reason (or even despite reason)? 2) Can one day to day without exercising any faith?
The chapter addresses question one quickly. In short, no. The word faith is quite similar to the word ‘trust.’ In fact, the English language gets the word faith from the Latin word ‘fides’ which means to trust or reliable. The next logical question is, “what does it mean to trust?” To trust means to place your confidence in a thing (or person) based on the evidence you have of the thing (or person).
The 2nd question is answered right after the first by showing how it plays out in life. For example, beginning on page 196 there is a list of great examples, and I urge you to examine it again. A few examples include trusting a used car salesman, politicians, jetliners, friends and family, etc. The overall point being made in the chapter is that we take the evidence we have and move from “belief that” to “belief in.” No matter how much I believe THAT the car will take me to my destination, at some point I’m going to have to get and put my trust IN the vehicle (and those who manufactured it) if I want to arrive.
The same, says Andy, goes for Christianity. The Christian life is not simply holding to certain intellectual beliefs but rather it is a life lived in which we trust in the one who created the universe. Since all people, both Christians and non-Christians, use faith every day, the big question is not, “Why faith?” but it is this, “Is what you’re placing your faith in trustworthy?” That’s the question we all must wrestle with.
When presented with questions/objections to Christianity we can respond in 1 of 3 ways: 1) We can give a wrong answer 2) We can give an accurate answer, or 3) We can give an answer like Jesus would give. How would you answer the objection/question, “Why do you believe in things you cannot prove?”
What’s the best thing you learned (or re-learned) in this chapter?
The “Problem of other minds” was discussed in the chapter (but not in the above summary). Tell us your thoughts about it; the good, the bad, the ugly, and perhaps the wonderful.