Is Faith Just Wishful Thinking?

What is faith according to the Bible? Are science and faith at odds? Tim explains in this clip from the 2018 reTHINK Apologetics Student Conference.


00:04 I want you to listen very carefully to this clip I'm going to show you from

00:08 Miracle on 34th Street. Notice how the word "faith" is defined.

00:27 I was wrong when I told you that Suzy.

00:30 You must believe in Mr. Kringle, and keep right on doing it.

00:33 You must have faith in him.

00:35 But he didn't get me...that doesn't make sense, Mommy.

00:39 Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.

00:49 That was in the original I think, right? You notice what she said, though:

00:54 "Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to." See, that's what

01:00 our culture believes is the definition of faith. That's what they're working

01:05 from. In fact, if you read Richard Dawkins' book "The God Delusion" where he argues if

01:10 you believe in God you're delusional, he argues that faith, or he just asserts

01:15 that faith is persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory

01:21 evidence. And so you have all this evidence going one way, and you just

01:24 blindly believe, you know, have faith in the opposite direction. It's kind of like

01:29 this: On one end of the spectrum you have science and reason, okay? This is when

01:36 you're thinking rational, the more evidence you have, it points towards

01:41 truth, this idea. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, this is where you have

01:46 no evidence, and this is where you insert faith, okay?

01:51 Faith, on this view, amounts to wishful thinking, and that's why we often talk

01:55 about, people talk about blind faith or a leap of faith, okay?

02:00 And so on this view, science and faith are completely at odds with each other.

02:05 Agreed. But the question is, is that what real biblical faith is? Well, I actually

02:12 don't think so, and neither does my friend Sean McDowell.

02:15 You guys know who Sean McDowell is. Sean, apologist professor at Biola. He says in

02:22 his book, "Is God Just a Human Invention?"

02:26 He writes, "Faith is not belief in spite of the evidence, but belief in light of

02:33 the evidence." I like that. It's not belief in spite of, it's belief in light of the

02:37 evidence. Now here's the problem: Who are you gonna believe? Are you gonna believe

02:41 Richard Dawkins, Miracle on 34th Street, you know, the culture? You're gonna

02:45 believe some Christians like Sean McDowell? Well I have an idea. If you want

02:51 to know what biblical faith is, it might be a good idea to, I don't know,

02:57 look in the Bible, you know? Who says that's a good idea?

03:02 All right, it's carried. How about we go to the Bible? So let's just

03:07 look at one passage. We could spend an hour looking through the

03:10 Bible and what faith is, but I think this is a great passage to go to. It turns out

03:14 in John's gospel, he tells us why he wrote his gospel near

03:22 the end. This is the purpose statement for why he wrote. You see, you read Luke,

03:26 he tells you right up front, here's why I'm writing. But you read John, you

03:32 got to wait till almost the end of the book, chapter 20. And in chapter 20, John

03:37 tells us in no uncertain terms why he recorded what he recorded. Here's what he

03:43 says, "Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are

03:49 not written in this book;" Stop right there. There's all these other signs we

03:53 don't even know about. They're not even written down in John's gospel, okay?

03:56 There's all these signs and wonders, but he says, "but these are written," okay, why

04:01 John? Why did you write about these signs and wonders? So if you got your Bible,

04:06 circle the words, "so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son

04:11 of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

04:16 The whole point in John writing his gospel is to provide a trustworthy

04:22 eyewitness testimony evidence so that you and I

04:26 would read the evidence and believe. You see John, he got to see the evidence and

04:33 believe. Well I didn't get to see the resurrected Christ. Neither did you. What

04:38 we get is to read about the evidence and believe. Does this sound like John didn't

04:44 care about evidence? Seriously, this sound like John wants us

04:48 to take a blind leap of faith in the dark?

04:51 Not even close.

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Tim Barnett