On belief

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It was a confidence that got you by
When you know you believed it, but you didn’t know why
No one imagines it will come to this
But it gets so hard when people don’t want to listen

Shivering with doubts that you left unattended
So you toss away the cloak that you should have mended
Don’t you know by now why the chosen are few?
It’s harder to believe than not to

–Steve Taylor, “Harder to Believe Than Not To

I’ve written before about how I believe even though sometimes it seems that it would be easier to just toss out my faith and stop caring. Faith is hard. The very idea that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen speaks to the intangible at the heart of the discussion. 

Belief is hard, there’s always going to be doubts and questions, and anyone who says that they do not doubt is lying. All of the apologetics books in the world aren’t going to erase doubt because faith is about more than logic. You can’t logic your way into making yourself or anyone else believe in God, the supernatural, the divine, or anything outside of themselves and the physical world.

That’s why when Tony Jones attempted to explain why he’s still a Christian despite his doubts, he failed miserably. Aside from the fact that arguing that God must exist because 7 billion people can’t be wrong does nothing to prove that the supernatural entity is the God of the Bible, it doesn’t actually prove anything. It’s like arguing that McDonald’s must be good because billions of people eat it. Hemant Mehta is right, it may possibly be the worst argument anyone has made for belief in God. 

Humanity has been wrong about a lot of things. Wildly wrong. So far off the mark that we don’t even know that the mark exists. Relying on the collective wisdom of humanity is something that I would rather not do. To go so far as to make an argument for the existence of God based on something that could just as easily be explained by the need to believe in some sort of higher power in order to make sense of the randomness seems uncommonly silly.

I have a hard time with apologetics. Tony Jones’ argument is particularly silly, but no matter how carefully crafted the logic is, you’re still just arguing for the existence of something that cannot be seen and measured. I could probably craft a nifty argument for why the current operating theory that the entire universe is a holographic projection supports the idea that there is someone, some thing, some power operating outside of the universe. In fact, I rather like that argument, it’s neat and tidy. 

Someone could still come along and rip it to shreds though, because even the best of arguments are seldom so airtight that one cannot argue the other side. That’s especially true when you’re arguing about the existence of the divine–something that is not measurable.

I’m a Christian. I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, and in the end I do so not because of facts or logic, and I certainly don’t believe because it’s a crutch since unbelief would be easier. I believe because even though unbelief would be simpler, there is something that will not let me go.

Is that rational? No. But it’s being honest, and I think it’s time to stop pretending and admit that we believe even though we don’t know for certain and can’t understand everything. Faith is a complicated mystery, and if the Bible is true, it’s beyond the human brain’s full comprehension. 

Beyond that, I can’t say anything else. But I can’t not believe.