Notes from After the
A Faith Big Enough for Reason
Non-believers in Christ (and
truth be told, many Christians) have difficulty in defining "faith."
Mark Twain once defined faith as "believing in what you
know ain't so." Is that what our faith is, a belief in the
There are problems aren't there, with that kind of faith? First,
what happens to our faith when the storms of life come? Matthew
7:24-29 tells the parable of the man who built his house on the
rock vs. the man who built his house on the sand. When the storms
came, the sands shifted and the house fell. But the house built
on the firm foundation remained standing despite the storms.
A firm foundation leads to a firm faith.
So, our personal faith can be shaken if the foundation isn't
strong. But there is another question we need to ask. How can
we lead others to accept a faith that we don't understand?
The Bible clearly tells us that we must have faith. Proverbs
3:5 tell us that we are supposed to trust God and not lean on
our own understanding. Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11 tell us,
"The one who is righteous will live by faith.". However,
the Bible also tells us that our faith should be based on reason.
Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come let us reason says the Lord."
And 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to "always be ready to make your
defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the
hope that is in you." So, we are to attempt to show unbelievers
that our belief in the Scriptures is reasonable, justified, and
We talked this Sunday about who Jesus claimed to be and if we
could find reasons, outside of the Bible, to believe He is who
he claimed, so that we can believe in Him with our hearts and
Who did Jesus claim to be? After all, almost everyone would agree
Jesus was a great teacher and moral example. But as you know,
He didn't stop there. In John 11:25-26 Jesus said, "I am
the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live,
even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will
never die. Do you believe this?" Look at John 6:35-40 or
John 8:49-58. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, and in fact
claimed to be God, saying "I and my Father are one"
We have all heard the phrase, "inquiring minds want to know."
Can we know that Jesus is who He claimed to be?
In John 14:11, Jesus said we could believe in Him because of
his works - the miracles he performed. The disciples were clear
that the miracles Jesus worked were the evidence to support what
he claimed about himself. The problem is this argument will not
convince today's skeptics. First, we are not eyewitnesses. Even
the Bible acknowledges that it is harder for one who is not an
eyewitness to be convinced. John 20:29 says, "Blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have believed."
So, how can we know these miracles really happened? First, Jesus
performed many of his miracles openly before the public, rather
than just in front of his followers. There were thousands of
witnesses to the miracles Jesus performed, yet there is NO historical
record of any of his contemporaries stepping forward to claim
his miracles were a hoax. None, nobody. Not Romans, or Jews,
or Greeks. When you consider the earliest of the gospels was
written when many of those eyewitnesses would have still been
alive, there would have been an outcry had the disciples been
lying. In fact, within just a few weeks of Jesus's death, on
the day of Pentecost, Peter openly declared before a huge crowd
in Jerusalem, the city where Jesus performed many of his miracles,
"Listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited
by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among
you through him, as you yourselves know." Acts 2:22.
Second, did you know evidence of Jesus's miracles is not limited
to the Bible? A non-Christian author writing shortly after Jesus's
death was a man named Flavius Josephus. Josephus was a Pharisee
and a one-time commander of Jewish forces who later switched
sides and joined the Roman army. Josephus wrote about history
for a largely Roman audience and he wrote: "Now there was
about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him
a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works
writers at the time, Jewish and Greek accused Jesus of practicing
sorcery, but they did not despite he performed miracles.
Third, consider how many people would have had to be a part of
this lie. Start with Mary, who was with Jesus throughout his
ministry and was standing at the foot of the cross when He was
crucified. Would she have let her son die for a hoax? And as
for the apostles, ALL of them, except for John, were martyred,
killed for their faith and what they were teaching. But not one
of them recanted, even at the point of death. Not one!
At the end of the day, we all have a decision to make because
we all put our faith in something. Choosing not to believe takes
as much, or perhaps more, faith than choosing to believe. Thomas
Merton said, "Reason is in fact the path to faith, and faith
takes over when reason can say no more." We can build our
faith on a foundation. Our faith is big enough.
Want to know more? Recommended reading:
Lee Strobel's books: The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ,
The Case for Christianity
Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace
Reasons for Belief: A Handbook of Christian Evidence by John