Exercising Faith with Your Mind

One reader wrote, “I believe in God with my faith and not by my mind. It’s impossible to think what God’s thinking.”

Dear Reader,
I will work with the second half of your reply first. When you say “it is impossible to think what God is thinking” there is a sense you are right. In Isaiah 55:8 God says, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord.” God’s thoughts are far above ours and we have no access to the hidden thoughts of God.

And yet if God kept his thoughts to Himself and never revealed them, then I believe this God would be useless. However, God has revealed his thoughts and actions in the Bible. God has spoken through the scriptures so we can understand His unfolding plan and know what He expects from us. So in one sense, the thoughts of God which have not been revealed we have no access, but on the other hand the thoughts He has revealed in the Bible can be known; and he expects us to know and obey them.

You made the statement, “I believe in God with my faith and not my mind.” Belief requires the use of your mind. Your statement is self-defeating and obviously false.  Without using your mind you have no faith.

You make the same mistake many believers make in pitting knowledge against faith. The opposite of knowledge is ignorance and the opposite of faith is unbelief. A person can have a knowledgeable faith or ignorant unbelief.  The foundation of faith is knowledge.

The writer of Hebrews gives us the definition of faith: Hebrews 11:1 (NASB) “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The word “conviction” in the King James Version is “evidence.” Assurance, conviction, evidence are words that stand on the foundation of knowledge and not the lack of. There is no Biblical faith without using the mind. Growing in the knowledge of God will strengthen your faith. I prefer to use the word “trust” instead of faith.  Trust is not blind but must be earned. In order to trust someone we need to get to know that person. The same goes for faith in God. The more we grow in knowledge of God, the more we learn to trust him or have faith in him. Faith is not wishing but an active trust.

To express Biblical faith you have to be reasonably certain of the truthfulness of the claims of Christianity. The faith God is interested in is based on knowing, grounded in evidence.  You cannot have faith without utilizing your mind.

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