There’s a notion going around that in order for us to have real faith, God must remain hidden. Greg uses biblical support to respond to this claim.
There’s a fairly popular notion going around that in order to have real faith, God must be hidden. This is not just a notion that Christians have. They’ll say, for example, “If you have all this evidence for God, then where is room for faith?” But it also is kind of the way the standard atheists nowadays is defining faith. Faith is what you use when you have no reasons, okay? Now look, people can define faith however they want for their own purposes, but if you’re talking about Christian faith, you gotta let Christianity define it, and that is not the way the biblical record characterizes faith, that faith only works when God is completely hidden.
Let me ask you a question. Was God hidden when the Red Sea was parted by His power? Was God hidden when when there was a pillar of fire that guided the Hebrews by night and a pillar of cloud by day? Was God hidden when Jesus was standing there appealing for people’s trust in Him as Messiah while He worked miracles? Feeding 5,000, raising the dead, healing the sick. You know, raising Himself from the dead. I mean, these are powerful manifestations of the presence and the reality of God that were all the foundations for people’s faith.
In fact, John said that the reason he wrote the entire gospel of John, and you can read this in John chapter 20. He said, “Many other signs and wonders,” these are miracles, “Jesus performed that are not written in this book,” and He says later, “If all of those had been written they would have filled the books of the world, but many other things He performed I haven’t included in this book but the things that I have included,” that is, the evidence of the miracles of Jesus, he says, “I’ve included in order that you would believe,” that’s faith, right? “...that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah and in believing have life in His name.” There you go. What could be more obvious?
So when Christians say, “Faith only works when God is hidden,” they’re not understanding the text. When atheists say, “Faith only is legitimate when you have no evidence,” this is self-serving because this is just a way of pigeonholing Christianity and Christian faith as having no evidence because that’s the way they define faith. It isn’t what the book teaches. Look it, reason believes, faith trusts. Let me say it again, reason gives us substance to believe that something is true. Our faith is an act of trust in that which we have good reason to believe is so. That’s biblical faith.