I wasn’t sure how to title this topic and I’m not even really sure what point I’m trying to get to. I have been bouncing around this idea in my head but I wanted to kind of work it out in this forum to see if any of it makes sense and to better articulate it later.
I was talking to my atheist/former christian cousin the other day about how a lot of my old friends and family from certain churches or certain backgrounds have given up on the faith and have become basically atheists. A big portion of them were people I actually looked up to spiritually and would call on them to help me work out my ideas about faith and other important things like science and politics. These were people were always attracted to apologetics and trying to “prove” God by using “reason” and “logic.” I used to really believe that there were ways to make arguments about the existence of what I have my faith in and they were the people who I would go to to help bolster my ideas.
Well, as so often happens when you base your life around really complicated issues without concrete answers, my friends started, one by one, leaving the faith when they couldn’t justify their beliefs around their friends anymore. I often feel like a stranger when I get together with them because I am still there, believing with all my heart, while everyone else submitted to those nagging feelings.
So back to my cousin. We were talking about my friends and it just dawned on me that they had all tried so hard to prove something and when they failed, it left them cold. I mentioned to my cousin the common thread through all of their lives and I ended up saying that I felt there was really no way to “prove” God and that faith is really all that we have on our side.
I’m starting to feel that apologetics isn’t really doing any “good” for us and that it’s just a way to justify our faith in the face of intellectuals when the whole point of faith is that you can’t prove what we believe in. Right? Isn’t that what faith is?
So, maybe that’s my real question: What is faith? Is faith a belief in something after we have all the evidence? Or is faith just something you have despite all the evidence?
I am kind of getting the feeling that God actually rewards our faith because of the impossibility of proving his existence!
I haven’t really paid much attention to the apologetics scene ever since I started becoming more comfortable with the real science explaining God’s creation but I’m now starting to actually feel a little animosity towards it. It has all these promises of clearing up any doubts but as soon as you leave the cave and go out into the real world, armed with all your new arguments, you get smashed as soon as you see light.
Anyways… I posted this kind of as a public diary entry. I just wanted to get these thoughts down, but I often have unchecked thoughts that I end up regretting years down the road and I wanted to get some discussion going about them.
Thanks for listening!
(BTW, I changed the topic of this post multiple times during my writing so it may or may not apply fully)