Does faith cancel out the need for reason?

Genuine faith is not a blind trust to be exercised in the absence of reason and adequate evidence. Although faith is our conviction about things that we cannot see (Heb. 11:1), it is a conviction that must be founded upon factual knowledge based upon the Word of God. Faith, “comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Samuel the prophet told the Israelites, “[S]tand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord” (1 Samuel 12:7). Likewise, Isaiah wrote: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’” (Isaiah 1:18). The same is seen in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. When the people prayed to Baal they used their emotions instead for their mind and “leaped about the altar,” “cried aloud,” and “cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them” (1 Kings 18:26,28)—all that without any response from their gods. Elijah, on the other hand, had a rational faith that was built on God’s Word (1 Kings 18:36). Because of Elijah’s rational faith God responded and manifested His supernatural powers in the sight of all Israel.

Jesus declared that He was the Son of God but He didn’t expect people to blindly accept it. He gave evidence of His divinity. These included the testimony of His Father (John 5:36; John 1:32-33; Matthew 3:16-17), fulfilled Messianic prophecies (John 5:39), and miraculous works (John 5:36).  Jesus’ power over nature, sickness, demons, and death proved that He came from heaven. He said, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10:37-38). There were so many reasons to believe that He was the Messiah.

Perhaps the greatest evidence that Jesus presented for His divinity was His supernatural resurrection. Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God…by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Jesus “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3). And He appeared to over 500 disciples, most of whom were still living and could be questioned several years later as Paul confirmed in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8. The gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John packed their gospels with evidences of Jesus being the Messiah that people “may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:30-31).

We have many reasons for our faith.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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