The Place Of Faith In Shaping Political Views • Part 2

Lance Ralston| Calvary Chapel In Oxnard

In Part One, we considered the divorce between faith and reason assumed in much of modern thinking. Contrary to the idea that faith is pure belief in spite of evidence, the Christian understanding of faith is that it is a reasonable response to evidence. It is not a “blind leap into the unknowing dark.” Biblical faith is a logical response to something objectively verifiable.

The premier passage defining the Christian conception of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In speaking of faith this way, the author of Hebrews intended the reader to regard it as connected to something substantial. It may not be apparent to the senses, but it is no less real for that.

There are many things we regard as real yet not tangible to our five senses. Our emotions are internal states of mind we give labels to like, peace, happiness, sadness, love, hate. No one doubts their existence though they are immaterial. We might encounter evidence of emotions in someone’s behavior or speech. But what we are seeing, and hearing is not the emotion itself, only its expression.

Though God, by His very nature as a spiritual being, is not apparent to our senses, the evidence of His existence is all around us. I will go so far as to say, the existence of ANY evidence, is proof of God. Indeed, the existence of the Supreme Deity the Bible describes is a logical necessity. It is simple Ontology. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

No petty intellect himself, the Apostle Paul removes the excuse of the materialist who denies the existence of God because he/she does not perceive Him through their senses. Knowledge does not come to us only by sense perception. Our minds link and manipulate perceptions to draw conclusions. That is the essence of reason. Paul says there is an underlying reality the existence of creation requires for there to even BE a creation. That is the existence of an eternal, all-powerful Creator.

In order for there to be anything now, there must be Some Thing that has always been. If there was ever a moment when there was nothing, there would be nothing now. Chiefly because nothing is absence of a thing and thus is nothing. That means there must be Some Thing that has always been, that possesses self-existence.

Reason and logic make clear the physical realm we inhabit is ruled by cause-and-effect. Everything owes its existence to a prior cause. But logic also prohibits an eternal regression. There has to be a starting point. The only reasonable conclusion is that that starting point cannot itself be inside a universe ruled by cause-and-effect. It must be a sufficient first cause, something that stands outside of the physical universe, eternal, with the power to give rise to everything else. This is basic logic. Reason demands the existence of an eternal, all-powerful Creator that owns its own existence.

What Paul says in Romans 1:20 makes clear that rather than faith lacking evidence, correctly understood evidence produces faith. To deny the existence of God because of a lack of evidence is a flight of irrational fancy because the use of evidence presumes the existence of a Creator Who made it.

In our next installment, we will consider how the eminently reasonable faith of the Judeo-Christian Worldview shaped the modern world.

Lance Ralston Is the  Founding and Lead Pastor Calvary Chapel in Oxnard. He is the author of  “The Place Of Faith In Shaping Political Views” which will be published in installments every Saturday at 5:00pm

• 2 Timothy 1:12


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William Hicks
William Hicks
1 month ago

Our deportment as Christians reflects our God. Although politic’s may not be the subject from the lectern, our daily activities and how we vote should always be a product of our devotion to God.