Archive for December 11th, 2007

Simple faith

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Lauralea tagged me with a meme.  I had to look up the word “meme” in a dictionary, but finally figured that it wasn’t like being hit with a SuperPoke on Facebook, so I’ll take a stab at at.

The question is, How would you define simple faith in Christ?”

My short answer is, “Believing/trusting like a child”.

A longer answer would get into heart-response vs. head-response, emotion vs. intellect, right-brain vs. left-brain, the fact that God is love and being a Christian is about relationship more than about theology or doctrine, etc.

Actually this topic is something that I struggle with. I know that Jesus talked about our need to receive the kingdom like a child (Mark 10:13-16), but I also believe that it is important to understand our faith and be capable of explaining it (1 Peter 3:15).

Of course the danger of too much intellectualizing is that in the process of gaining a lot of head knowledge one might lose one’s focus on relationship.

On the other hand I think it is sad to see former believers lose their faith, stating that believing in Jesus Christ is akin to believing in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy, after leaving a “simple faith” environment and being exposed to alternative philosophies. Christian apologetics is out of fashion in this postmodern age, and I think that’s a shame.

I like to think that a childlike faith can co-exist with intellectually rigorous apologetics. Unfortunately I’m having a really hard time coming up with a coherent statement explaining how they can be reconciled.

Meanwhile, here’s a paragraph from C.S. Lewis, one of my favourite authors, writer of children’s novels, science fiction, and apologetics and theology for the layman, introducing the fourth part of his book, “Mere Christianity”…

Everyone has warned me not to tell you what I am going to tell you in this last book. They all say ‘the ordinary reader does not want Theology; give him plain practical religion’. I have rejected their advice. I do not think the ordinary reader is such a fool. Theology means ‘the science of God’, and I think any man who wants to think about God at all would like to have the clearest and most accurate ideas about Him which are available. You are not children: why should you be treated like children?

(By the way, I’m not tagging anyone else with this meme … my apologies if anyone thinks that makes me a party-pooper.)