I’ve always tried to take a balanced view of life. I think every person, whether Christian, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, or someone of any other belief system needs these three things in life: reason, emotion, and faith.
Reason is essential for life. We need it to get up in the morning, to drive to work, to build things, to invent things, to do anything in our daily lives. Reason helps take us from place to place. It helps us make decisions. It guides our day. Reason is essential, but it can fail us. A few years ago, I was driving to a nearby city and noticed my brakes making horrible noises the whole trip. I couldn’t leave them in that state, so I headed somewhere in town to get the replacement parts I needed. It was unnerving and a bit embarrassing as I made my way across town to the parts store. When I arrived I bent down to look at how bad it was. I couldn’t see anything so I reached my finger in behind the tire to feel if something was out of place. What was I thinking? Well, I wasn’t! It was hot, and my scream was probably louder than any sound my brakes could make—I wasn’t using much reason at that time.
How much knowledge does human society have? Do we know 50 percent of everything there is to know? Twenty percent? Our knowledge is like a single grain of sand floating around the Sahara Desert. It’s like a single grain of sand floating through the black emptiness of our universe. We know very little. It’s not probable that our society will ever know all there is to know about our universe.
Black holes are fun to talk about, but difficult to describe. How can something become infinitely dense? Some would say they aren’t, but we won’t go there. The math that we use to describe those monstrosities falls apart as it approaches the singularity. General relativity does not work well with quantum mechanics. And just how many dimensions are there in our universe? Three? Four? Eleven? We just don’t understand how things work. I’m not saying we will never understand these things, we are making great strides, but logic alone is fleeting. We can be brilliant and ignorant at the same time. We need more than reason to have a meaningful life.
Let’s say you’re in a room full of people. Some of them old, some young, but the only other person you know is your spouse. Suddenly, someone lights a bomb in the room and you only have a second to save one person. Who would it be? Logic say’s you should pick a young person. You should pick someone with a longer lifespan because they have the most to loose, but your emotions say it should be your spouse. Logic without emotion is empty.
The second thing we need is emotion. It is the flavor of life. The aroma. Without emotion live is stale, stagnant, and pointless. Our emotions can help us make good decisions, but they can also fail us. I remember watching a TV series about different fears that people experienced. This particular episode had an interview with a large macho-looking guy that was horribly terrified of dogs. This guy looked like he could pound almost anyone to dust. It was difficult watching this full grown man retract in fear as a dog was brought into the room. Even the smallest puppy would have him on the edge of his chair. His emotions were leading him in the wrong direction. He needed to use more logic and less emotion, and he knew it—it was just hard for him to do. Emotion and logic work better when used together, but they still lack something.
The third thing we all need is faith. You may say that atheists don’t need faith, but I disagree. There are many things in life that we don’t fully understand and we accept them by faith. For example, some people may not know how electricity works. You flip the switch on the wall and the light turns on. That’s all they need to know. They have faith that someone else has it figured out, and they can just safely use it. Other individuals may not understand the process of nuclear fusion, or how a combustion engine works, or how HTML makes a web browser work. We take those things by faith and we don’t need to understand them. We just understand that someone else understands.
There are other things in life that cannot be proven and are taken by faith. When it comes to human beginnings, we can narrow it down to two possibilities. We were created or we just happened by accident. The historical science of evolution uses little real science, and is based on assumptions. The scientific method requires a hypothesis to be formed and then tested. We cannot create a universe. We don’t know the exact conditions that existed at the beginning. We don’t know how this system changed over time. Nor can we test any hypothesis against this system. Historical science makes assumptions about the past so it can make sense of the present. Evolutionists assume the starting conditions of the universe. Evolutionists assume the laws of physics have not changed. Evolutionists assume that the universe we can see is similar to the universe beyond our sight. Assumptions are the same thing as faith.
I can look at the very same data an evolutionist sees and come to a different scientific conclusion. The evolutionist looks at rock strata and sees millions of years. I see deposits from a great flood. Neither of our theories can be tested by the scientific method. I think there is an overwhelming amount of data that points to a young earth. Check out this article from the Institute for Creation Science on how rock strata can be laid down quickly. The article forms an opinion based upon observation of data. It takes faith to say life began on its own. It also takes faith to say God created it. In my life, I try to employ a lot of logic, some emotion, and a little faith. For me it’s easier to believe that a creator made what we see than it is to believe that it just happened.
So why do I believe the Bible?
Literary Consistency and Longevity of the Bible. The Bible is an incredible document. It contains 66 books written by 40 different authors over a time span of 1600 years and in three different languages. Despite all of these differences it holds an astounding unity within its pages. You can pick any book of the bible and after doing a solid investigation you get a feel for what it’s about. Its basic message is that God created man, man is imperfect and needs the help of its creator. There is no other book that has been read as much as the Bible, or has had as many printed copies. With the number of original documents we can be assured that what we read today has not changed over the years. Even despite the attempts of many down through the ages to destroy it, the Bible has lasted.
Its claims. The bible makes bold claims that it is the only inspired Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is inspired by God.” Jesus quoted the Old Testament, and approved of the writers of the New Testament. Jesus claimed to be the One and only way to God. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Historically accurate document. The bible has never been proven wrong through archaeology. Many artifacts and locations of the Bible have been discovered. The five cities of the plain mentioned in Genesis were thought to have been nonexistent, but they have been found. We know where the city of Jericho was. The Hittites did exist. We also see the histories of the bible matching up with other historical documents. The first century historian Josephus speaks about Jesus in some of his writings.
Prophetically accurate document. There were many prophecies made in the Old Testament that have already been fulfilled. Daniel chapter 2 predicted the next three world kingdoms very accurately, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, and the Roman empires. The prophet Isaiah predicted in Isaiah 44:28 that a king by the name of Cyrus would come and help in the restoration of the Jewish people. He made this prediction about 150 years before it happened. 700 years before it happened the prophet Micah predicted the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Zechariah predicted about 400 years in advance that the Messiah would be betrayed with 30 pieces of silver. He also predicted that none of His bones would be broken and He would be pierced in His side. There are many more prophecies that have been fulfilled. I challenge you to look them up, but to keep this article short I’ll stop here.
It works. The last reason for my faith is that I can see that the principles of the Bible really work. Millions of lives have been changed by the words in this book. I’ve applied many of its teachings to my own life and I’ve never been disappointed. Can the Bible be proven to be the Word of God or to be absolute truth? No, but for me it is a reasonable option. It does take faith to believe in God, but it is not blind faith. It is faith built on good observations.
The alternative for me seems less probable. When I think of a world without God, I find no hope. There’s none in politics. All I see there is bickering and fighting, and a group of people jockeying for power. I’m reminded of the statement that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I find little hope in fame. I see little hope in money. Some money is needed, but beyond our basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, money does not give you happiness. I supposed there’s some hope in family, friends, and society. But honestly, society changes. The values of today are vastly different than they were in the 1920s, and way different than the values of the head-hunters of Africa. I don’t think society is the foundation we can put our hope in. And in the end we die and everything we’ve learned, valued, and loved disappears. Maybe we have impacted others in this life and have passed on things of value to them, but eventually they pass on too. And maybe we’re one of the very lucky ones who has impacted society in a way that we get our name in some book that lasts for generations. Eventually that disappears too, and in the end life has passed and nothing we have done remains.
I choose God because it’s a logically plausible choice that I feel with my emotions and believe with my faith. I do not chose my faith in God because it gives me hope, and it does, but because I believe science points to a Creator. I believe there is life after death, and what I do in this life affects the next. I believe we are spirits living in a physical body. It is my prayer that God would open your eyes to His spiritual realities.