In response on this post, I was told that arguing for an objective morality was contrary to a recognizance of faith, as faith – in essence, that a logical argument for the existence of objective morality was an attempt to “prove” faith.

The quotes are as follows:

Razor,

Faith, by definition, exists apart from logical proofs. Foundationalsim assumes a preset of basic beliefs – your initial post serves to legitimze this approach by postulating the existene of basic beliefs. Does that not seem circular to you?

I am certainly NOT suggesting that logical exercises are not useful – in most cases they are. However, reducing matters of faith to logical precepts removes the mystery aspect of faith, suggesting somehow that the wonder and mystery of our God can be defined and detailed to the nth degree by our keen human intellect.

I mean no offense, but it smacks of arrogance to me, and brings forth a sickening feeling in my innermost being that usually comes when attempts are made to somehow intellectually legitimize faith through logical science. Faith requires no such legitimization, which is really antithetical to faith, in the strictest sense.


What I find helpful is using logical devices to construct a systematic theology. However, a systematic theology assumes that a foundation of faith already exists – it does not serve to provide logical foundations to faith.

Well, today’s sermon at church was about faith, but only partially. In that sermon, we were given a quote from Charles Spurgeon, which I’m going to use for this post. See, according to Spurgeon, faith consists of three things:

What is faith? It is made up of three thingsā€”knowledge, belief, and trust.

Knowledge, chiefly, is what concerns me today. “Faith begins with knowledge“, says Spurgeon. When we have faith, we must know what we have faith in. I cannot stress enough that we cannot have a blind faith. A faith which does not even know what it is faithful for, what it is faithful to, why it is even faithful at all… this is not a faith worth recognizing. So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. This is what faith requires. Knowledge.

Now, let me hasten to say that this knowledge must not be perfect. it must only be sufficient. This knowledge is NOT, contrary to my brother’s assertion, the proof of faith – it is simply the portion of faith which requires us to know what we are having faith in.

Now, this knowledge does not constitute the entirety of faith. We must then “believe that these things are true“. As Spurgeon says: “Believe these truths as you believe any other statements; for the difference between common faith and saving faith lies mainly in the subjects upon which it is exercised. Believe the witness of God just as you believe the testimony of your own father or friend. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.“”

Catch that part I bolded? The difference is NOT the amount of faith – it is the object of that faith. Saving faith is differentiated by what you believe in.

So far you have made an advance toward faith; only one more ingredient is needed to complete it, which is trust. …The Puritans were accustomed to explain faith by the word “recumbency.” It meant leaning upon a thing. Lean with all your weight upon Christ. It would be a better illustration still if I said, fall at full length, and lie on the Rock of Ages. Cast yourself upon Jesus; rest in Him; commit yourself to Him.

He continues the lesson with this:

Faith is not a blind thing; for faith begins with knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it is sure. It is not an unpractical, dreamy thing; for faith trusts, and stakes its destiny upon the truth of revelation. That is one way of describing what faith is.
Let me try again. Faith is believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then to expect this of Him.

Faith does not require proof. Faith does require knowledge. It does require belief of veracity, although it does not require proof of veracity. It does require trust, although it does not require proof of trustworthiness.

Apologetics is an activity which is concerned with clearing away the obstacles to a true understanding of what God teaches, who He is, and what is really, actually true. This is the goal, the object, of apologetics. It is not to somehow “prove” the existence of God – or even of principles. It is an outline of the body of knowledge which, if taken all together, will give you a healthy, Biblical knowledge of the Holy, and what it entails. That is, at bottom, the purpose of apologetics. Not to prove, but to clear away obstructions. Not to argue minutae, but to unblock the way. Not to engage in debate for the sake of debate, but to define clearly the path which must be traveled.

Sometimes, that process is quite involved. It may have to start hundreds of allegorical miles away from even the beginning of that path. Sometimes, it may start with a log dropped right at the entrance to that narrow way. Regardless, the mission is clear. Remove all impedances, wherever possible, to a knowledge of the Holy.

Remember – the first step is knowledge, true knowledge, of what you are to have faith in. Only then can you believe that the object of your faith is true.

(All quotes from Charles Spurgeon may be found at Spurgeon.org, where they are hosting his small book, “All of Grace“.)