Faith, according to Hebrews 11:1 is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. You might be tempted to think this means that faith exists without proof. That’s a bit short-sighted, but you wouldn’t be alone.
The dictionary definition even states that faith is the firm belief in something for which there is no proof. That is neither accurate, nor fair.
“What do you mean by ‘proof’?” would be the next logical question, so let’s look at the definition of ‘proof’ from the same source:
- evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement.
Hmm… evidence OR argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement.
The Bible is first and foremost a set of truth-claims, or a set of statements that claims to be true. It is the revelation of the hidden God to His creation. The Bible explains the origin of all things, the purpose of creation, why things are so screwed up in this world, and what the solution to the plight of mankind is. Whether or not you accept those truth-claims, or dispute them, is a matter of faith, or the lack thereof, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s plenty of proof available to hang one’s faith on.
Faith, then, must be a gift, and that’s exactly what the Bible says in Ephesians 2:8.
I recently learned of a thought experiment attributed to Útmutató a Léleknek, a Hungarian writer, and I thought I’d share it with you.
“Do you believe in Mother?”
In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”
The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”
The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”
~ Útmutató a Léleknek