Because I read so many blogs about faith and religion, I often come across discussions about the best way to prove one’s faith, debating knowledge and theological points of view. To be honest, I usually find these discussions to be very clinical, and the picture of God being portrayed too narrow and rigid. Although I am very logical, I don’t relate with God through my intellect.
I don’t have much interest in trying to prove my faith to others, even unbelievers. Yes, I know I’m going to have to turn in my good evangelical badge. The typical guilt trip is that if I love the other person enough, I would be driven to pound them over the head with the gospel until they get it, lest they die in a car accident tonight and their blood is eternally on my hands. Geesh, that’s a lot of responsibility to carry.
This is a comment I made at Sonja’s blog on her post Losing My Religion:
“Why do I still have faith? I have faith in the person of God and His love. I know the One who whispers to my heart and somehow communicates with the depths of my soul, and I trust Him.
I don’t believe that I could hang onto an empty set of beliefs and arguments without experiencing knowing God. At the end of the day, many questions may remain, but I don’t question that He is real and that He loves me.”
Our testimony is not our conversion story, our testimony is our understanding of who God is, testifying of how we have personally known God, who He is to us. Can I prove that I know God? My only proof is experiential, although to me it is more real than our current reality.
I question if we can really convince someone about God simply from the proof of Scriptures. Scripture can open someone’s heart to receive understanding about God, but it seems to me, that in order to have a real faith, someone must experience meeting the person of God and knowing Him.
I’m not saying that Scripture is unimportant, but I believe we must first have a revelation of the person of God. That is a work of the Spirit, not the intellect. From there, having come to know God, we then build our understanding of scripture and theology. I believe the greatest revelation, understanding, and knowledge we will ever have is of the truth of God’s love.
At the Forgotten Ways blog, Alan says, “The original meaning of the Hebrew verb ‘”to recognise, to know,” in distinction from Western languages, belongs not to the sphere of reflection but to that of personal contact.” He then provides this quote:
“The decisive event for ‘knowing’ in Biblical Hebrew is not that one looks at an object, but that one comes into touch with it. This basic difference is developed in the realm of a relation of the soul to other beings, where the fact of mutuality changes everything. At the centre is not a perceiving of one another, but a contact of being – intercourse.. This theme of ‘knowing’ intercourse rises to a remarkable and incomparable height in the relation of God to those He has chosen.” (Martin Buber, Good and Evil)
Let me close with this amazing short video of Brennan Manning (ht to Jonathan Brink).
“I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, not as you should be.” – Jesus