Is Faith In God Rational?

Written On March 14, 2007

Over the years, I have heard statements like "the Holy Spirit is not logic", or "faith in God is not rational", or "if you have proof, then why do you need faith"?

Although such people (even within the church) may have us believe that faith in God is some kind of a leap into the dark, the Bible itself tells us that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). If a Christian is to describe such a faith as irrational, then I have to wonder what their definition of rational is.

Personally, I am not even sure exactly what Christians mean when they say that faith in God is not rational. I do not intend to be harsh by saying that, nor do I deny that such Christians mean well....but I honestly find that statement ("faith in God is not rational") to be confusing. I take a simple approach to the Bible, and I really think that people are only complicating things by stating that faith in God is not rational. In the Merriam Webster Dictionary, one of the definitions for rational is, "relating to, based on, or agreeable to reason".

Is faith in God "relating to, based on or agreeable to reason"? The Bible clearly indicates that it is: Isaiah 1:18 says "Come now, and let us reason together". If God intends to "reason" with mankind, then we can only conclude that faith in Him is indeed "relating to, based on or agreeable to reason".

Is Your Hope Different From The World's?

Furthermore, the Bible also tells believers to "be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). Is it not rational to have a reason for the hope that is in us? I think that the answer to that is rather obvious. And if someone has never asked you for a reason for the hope that is in you, it could be because you are merely hoping in the entertainment, worldly pleasures or worldly methods that the rest of the world has been hoping in. Therefore, the world simply does not see any difference.

I believe that both the church and the professing church today are in a very tragic state, and this grieves my heart to no end. We have Christians and professing Christians who are trying to persuade atheists to come to Christ while convincing them that it is irrational to do so! Is it any wonder that there are so many atheists in the first place? I do not believe that atheists are excused for rejecting God, but when we consider all of the non-sense that is taking place in the name of Christianity; it should be no wonder that there are so many atheists in the first place, and it should be no wonder that hostility towards Christians is increasing.

The truth is that there is little difference between the professing church and the world today, and that is why the world does not recognize a different hope in most of those who call themselves "Christians". For example, some of Contemporary Christian Music is just an imitation of the world's music (like Christian metal), and from what I have observed, even the ungodly realize how absurd it is when the church tries to Christianize worldly music - yet many professing believers remain blinded to such absurdity. The church also imitates the worlds methods for being successful (e.g., psychology, so-called positive thinking, etc.), so it should be no wonder if the world does not ask them for a reason for the hope that is in them. They are hoping in the same things that the world is hoping in, and they do not appear to be any different from the world. So what else can we expect? If they were to hope in something that the world is not hoping in (i.e., Jesus Himself!) then the world may wonder why, and they may indeed ask for a reason for the hope that is in them.

Creation's Witness To Its Creator

Some have suggested that faith in God is not rational simply because it is faith in that which is not seen. However, we have not seen the wind either, but we know that it exists because we have seen the effects of the wind. So is it irrational to believe in the wind? I don't think so.

It is really the same way with God. Although I cannot see God, the effects of God are very evident to me, and my faith in Him is therefore very rational. The effects of God are evident throughout His word, which rings true to my conscience. The existence of God is evident through prophecy, through true is evident throughout God's entire creation.

God's existence is very evident by the perfect design of the entire human body alone. For example, our eyes were designed to see, our ears were designed to hear, our noses were designed to smell, our feet were designed to walk, our hands were designed to hold things, our teeth were designed to chew...our taste buds were designed to taste...I could go on and on about so many things that God has perfectly designed throughout His creation.

Do you think that it is by chance that our taste buds ended up in our mouth rather than on our feet, or some other inconvenient place on our body? And do you think that it is by chance that our eyes ended up on our face rather than some inconvenient place on our body? Obviously, everything does not fall into the right place by chance, but their had to be a creative mind behind it all. God has designed everything in creation perfectly, and His existence is evident through His creation. This is why the Bible itself says, "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). Man can try to excuse and delude himself all he wants, but no one can be an honest atheist.

Creation's obvious witness to its Creator can also be found in DNA, as Dave Hunt explained in his April 2004 newsletter:

"Creation's most powerful witness to its Creator is found in DNA. Digitally organized instructions for building and operating trillions of cells as one body are inscribed upon DNA in encoded language that only certain protein molecules can decode. Everything written has an author! And the author of this amazing pool of intricate information could only be an infinite Intelligence, the One who created and sustains all by "the word of his power" (Hebrews 1:3).

The rebellion of Satan and man brought destruction to the entire order in the universe. The ongoing result has been natural disasters and a growing pool of disease and deformities among men and animals: "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together..." (Romans 8:21, 22). Even some cells no longer follow the instructions encoded in the DNA, resulting in cancer. In spite of overwhelming and indisputable evidence bombarding him daily, man refuses to obey his Creator. He is thus a spiritual cancer on the earth, doing "that which [is] right in his own eyes" (Judges 17:6)." (Dave Hunt, from his newsletter titled God Is Love.)

Aside from all of this, God has also written His moral law in everyone's conscience (See Romans 2:14-16). It is true that God sometimes expects us to believe things which are beyond our full comprehension, but true faith in God is still based on evidence and logic. Believing without evidence is what cult leaders expect their followers to do, but that is not the kind of faith that God expects us to have. In Dave Hunt's book titled Seeking and Finding God (which is part of what lead my youngest brother to Christ) Dave explained it this way:

"Rather than an irrational leap, [faith] is a rational step that follows the evidence and logic as far as reason is able, then takes another step beyond reason - but always and only in the direction that evidence and reason have pointed". (Dave Hunt, Seeking And Finding God, page 25).

One of the things that we need to understand is that faith in God does not mean to merely believe in His existence. As I have shown, the existence of God should be rather obvious to everyone. True faith in God means to believe what He says: "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Romans 4:5). There are plenty of people in the world who believe in God, but if more of them believed what He said, then there would not be so many misrepresentations of Him today.

Blind Faith vs. Faith In God

Although even some Christians claim that faith in God is not rational, I find it to be the only rational choice, and that is why I was lead to the Lord in the first place (See My Testimony). If that is not why you were lead to the Lord, then perhaps it is time to examine your "faith". True faith in God must be based on truth, not some irrational leap into the dark. Although atheists often accuse Christians of having blind faith, the truth is that it takes much more blind faith to believe that anything could be designed without a designer.

What is more rational? Is it more rational to believe the evidence (which I have clearly shown here) or is it more rational to blindly accept the idea that all of the design throughout God's creation could come about without a designer? I will leave that up to everyone's God-given conscience and their convictions before the Lord....

Seeking And Finding God

An Urgent Call To A Serious Faith

In Defense of the Faith

Cosmos, Creator And Human Destiny

Faith is Indeed Intellectual

Faith and Knowledge

Reflections on a Reasonable Faith

What Role Do Evidence and Reason Play?

The Flight From Reason (Video)

The Further Flight From Reason (Video)