- If faith in God is worth anything, shouldn’t he want us to reach him through our reason rather than unthinkingly through blind faith?
Blind faith is just another way of saying belief unaided by or even against the evidence. Is this even a thing? I mean, sure you can choose to believe something without evidence of its actual existence, but how many people could possibly come to a sincere belief without anything but the idea being placed in their head? Faith, like most other aspects of theism, is misunderstood and misrepresented by atheists and agnostics in ways that prevent understanding. Belief simply requires some degree of evidence. You can argue about how much is enough but you can’t credibly argue that belief happens without evidence. In chapter 10 of Mark’s Gospel there is a story of a blind man who cried out to Jesus for healing,
“ “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.” (V.52)
Bartimaeus had faith, and his faith led to his healing. And while we don’t know how he came by his faith we do have a few clues. First He knew who Jesus was,
“When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!””(V. 47)
Not only did he know who Jesus was but he knew two other things. He called Him “Son of David” and he called Him “Rabbi”. Both terms would have been significant at that time. Son of David is a Messianic title and Rabbi is a title of honor. At a minimum this would indicate that Bartimaeus had not only heard of Jesus but heard of His miraculous acts. He had faith in several different things here, that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, that He had done miraculous things in the past, that He could do them for him if only he could get his attention, and that these things were possible at all. All of this because he lived in a place and at a time where he would have had access to vastly more evidence than we have now. Think people who were actually healed and people who witnessed it. So why is this called faith? In Hebrews chapter 11 we have the most well known passage about faith.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (V. 1)
Also the number one verse used to bolster the the definition of blind faith. It’s just hope and invisible stuff, right? But what’s the context? The verse is followed by the descriptions of how faith operated in the lives of more than ten individuals or groups. Each of the descriptions lays out a progression of faith, if you will. A progression that moves from properly placed trust to God’s action followed by increased faith sometimes bringing about a greater requirement of trust. That is what faith is, properly understood, it’s belief beyond or between evidences. It’s saying, “The Lord has done all of the things in the past, I have studied and prayed and have confidence that God can and will do _____. Previous blessings become stepping stones (a.k.a evidence) that the faith for the next blessing is justified. Mr. Simons wants to know why wouldn’t God make himself knowable by pure intellect alone. I want to know why it’s wrong for God to want us to stretch our ability to push beyond what we see and consider what is unseen.