Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Proof

When I was taking my Philosophy course, the professor defined “faith” as the belief without proof (By “proof” means through reasons and logics.) At some points, I can argue that almost everything does not have good proof, but of course we know what he means by this definition. Of course, Christians’ faith is not some unjustified fallacy, and we do have a lot of solid proofs that if only we regulate them with our minds, we may clearly feel that everything makes sense. However, not everyone can obtain such knowledge sufficiently, and since most people are rational thinkers, a slight doubt in a fragment of second of the nature of Christian faith can be unavoidable.
Shamefully, I myself did that sometimes, though I tried to “fix” that by making me become more sufficient with books and prayers. One thing I am so thankful is that any sincere prayer will surely be replied, and yes, He did. Now thinking back about it, I feel it inappropriately funny if some believer asks God for “proof”, but somehow I did ask, and He
did give me some “proof”. Though I am going to share the story, it is not a testimony or anything close, but simply a “story” to share.
It happened when I was… flying to Montana for the graduation of Petra (yeah, life is comprehensive sometimes.) Sitting next to me was an old woman. We got to talk to each other, and I knew that she wasn’t an ordinary person, but an eighty nine year-old historian. Well, basically she was a Christian, and she was going to try to “evangelize” me, but since I already was, her story was amazingly significant to me. She was distinctively a rational scientist, many of which are strong atheists. The important thing was that she was a historian professor, and therefore, whatever she could find shouldn’t be too far from the truth. Indeed, from trying to deny God’s existence by finding proof, she was convinced herself by the fact that what the Bible said was surprisingly true. She told me a lot of stories, showing me how the three sons of Noah were really the ancestors of the three races, and many others (I just can’t re-demonstrate all of them efficiently.) And I realized, this was the proof given by God.

How do I know it? Can she tell lies? Can she surely be the historian only because she said that? Was all what she said reliable?... If I wanted to ask myself these, there could be much more, but then nothing can be come up with in the end, and probably the conversation wouldn’t have even existed. I understand what I saw and what I heard exactly how God wants me to. The clear explanation belongs to another dimension of knowledge, so it cannot be provided. The fact is, I saw the proof I needed, was amazed by that, and got my faith strengthened greatly.

It’s 1:16 a.m. right now, and I don’t know what I am getting at. However, I have the formula for my Christian life now: Keep trying, fall, try harder, and pray. Look at me, some of the hair of the black sheep is getting lighter!...

God bless…

1 comment:

  1. Mr. K's comments for this post when it was originally uploaded were significant, so I copied them here, mostly to remind myself:

    "Hello, Mr. Anh. Two 'brief' comments. First, your philosophy professor's definition of faith is a common one, but a little too narrow. He is assuming that empirical, objective proof is necessary to establish truth. However, thousands of times a day we all make decisions based on things we don't have this type of proof for. When we get on a plane, we have "faith" that it will land safely. When we start a conversation with a friend, we have "faith" that our friend is not merely a projection of our own mind, that we aren't just in a very real and vivid dream. Your professor's definition of faith does have some merit, but it means that every single human operates mostly by faith, and not by empirical proof (maybe that's his/her point). Faith really involves trust, especially in promises that haven't yet been fulfilled (see Hebrews 11:1).

    "Secondly, your formula for Christianity seems to be missing an important half. In Philippians 2:12-13, Paul tells his readers to 'work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to do for his good pleasure.' You seem to have been putting plenty of attention on the first half of Paul's statement; you've been striving to conform your actions and thoughts to the standard of God's Word--and this is good. But you must also take refuge in the second half of Paul's statement: work hard to obey, BECAUSE God works in you both to will (to desire to obey) and to do (to actually obey) His good pleasure. If you only focus on your own strength to be obedient to Christ, you will be perpetually disappointed and discouraged. So a more effective and truer formula for Christianity is this: Look to Christ always for His strength and grace. Revel in His goodness to you as He works to make you more and more righteous. And let your joy at His immense goodness to you encourage you to greater and deeper obedience to him.

    "God bless, brother."