Faith in a Book or Faith in God

with 9 Comments

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1 Corinthians 2:5 “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Where does our faith rest? What is the bedrock on which we build the foundation of our faith? Consider the following example: I believe in Europe. I’ve never been there, I’ve never seen it and never touched it. God did not testify to me of such a place but I do have many eye-witness testimonies. I have also seen maps that indicate Europe is a real thing. My faith in Europe is not actually in Europe, but it is a faith that the accounts I have witnessed are true.

Where is my faith in God? What have I built that on? Is it like my faith in Europe which is actually a faith in what I have heard and seen second-hand? Many christians’ faith is exactly that. A belief in others’ accounts of God’s works. If you base your faith in the Bible, this is you. The logic looks like this:

I believe the Bible, therefore I believe in God and everything taught about Him in the Bible.

While this can help develop faith in God, it does not make the strongest foundation for your faith. Here are a few reasons why:

The contributors of the bible didn’t have the bible at the time.

  • Adam believed in God, not because of a book, but because of his personal experiences with God. (Genesis 3:10)
  • Moses spoke with God face to face so he didn’t have to read about it to believe. (Genesis 33:11.)
  • Peter did not have the benefit of reading Matthew, Mark, Luke or John when he realized that Jesus is the Christ that the Jews were looking and waiting for. (Matthew 16:13-17.)

There are many instances in the Bible where we are taught to seek wisdom in ways that do not include the bible alone.

  • James councils us to ask God if we lack wisdom. (James 1:5)
  • John 7:17 Jesus teaches that obedience will give us knowledge.
  • Matthew 7:15-20 In the sermon on the mount, Jesus teaches “by their fruits ye shall know them” to determine if a prophet is false or true.
  • This shows the Bible alone is not sufficient for the wisdom we can get from God.

The Bible cannot prove or disprove claims that something is scripture.

  • Suppose another book claims to be scripture and contradicts the Bible. You can’t determine which is true (and both may be false) simply by the books alone.
  • Similarly, the Bible cannot prove itself to be true. Any claims it makes to be true could be lies.

A stronger foundation

It is better to find faith in God without depending on the validity of the Bible. Build your faith on a personal testimony, spiritual experiences you have had, and your personal relationship with Him. Then the next time someone tells you that the Bible contradicts itself, you can take the opportunity to tell him or her of your solid foundation.

9 Responses

  1. Laureen
    | Reply

    Great post! Very interesting subject. I like that you’re saying that people should have a personal relationship to God. And if they do then their hearts will be open to the Spirit letting them know what’s true or false. I believe in the scriptures because of the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

    • dashbo
      | Reply

      Thanks Laureen, that is exactly what I think is the correct way to view the scriptures. They are true because God created them, not the other way around 😀

  2. Jan Bradford
    | Reply

    I believe that your faith must be first in Jesus. Believe that He is. Believe that He loves us. Believe in all that He has done for us. Everything else will follow.

    • dashbo
      | Reply

      Thanks Jan! That reminds me of Mosiah 4:9 in the Book of Mormon. Faith is the motivator of all rational beings. I think a lot of what went in to this post is from the Lectures on Faith.

  3. Chad Saunders
    | Reply

    Good first effort! I really enjoyed it. Teaching without preaching. Nice work!

    • dashbo
      | Reply

      Thanks Chad! Your time spent reading is really appreciated 🙂

  4. Melanie
    | Reply

    Very thought provoking.

    • Melanie
      | Reply

      I enjoyed your insight.Very thought provoking. Unfortunately some will not find it that way.

      • dashbo
        | Reply

        Thanks Melanie. That may be true; I am hoping that if someone disagrees, it might open the doors to a healthy dialogue. I am often surprised to find what I thought was true, is not; so I am definitely open to the possibility that of all the wrong people on the internet, I might be one of them 😉

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