Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Faith fallacies of mega proportions

Faith always gets denigrated now a days. Either you hear how it is cr*p, or if not that, you hear it misrepresented and maligned. Sometimes when I hear people speak about it, I get the impression they hate it. Yeah, they hate something Jesus marveled at and commended in people's lives.

I often hear the following fallacies on saving faith:

1.) In order to believe in something, that something must already have occurred else faith has nothing to cling to.

Have you heard of this reasoning? I hear this all the time. This is a rationalistic view of how faith is depicted in the Bible and it is so erroneous. In the Bible, such as the case of Abraham, people believed in what God says not because God has already brought it about but because of who God is, the only person worthy of our trust. Biblical proof of this in Hebrews 11 where men of faith looked at the promises of God that went beyond their time with respect to fruition.

For example, if I say to you, I shall meet you tomorrow at such a time and place, has that event - that is me, being there, already occurred in order for you to believe or turn up? No. I tell you, the basis of your belief in me is based on what kind of character I am. The basis of you believing my words is backed up by my reputation of being reliable. Now transfer that idea to God.

Abraham, believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. Abraham believed in many future promises that God gave to him. There is something non-trivial about this phenomenon of believing God, that is why when one does believe, it is always a miracle - a work of God. For faith in God's promises is not something you can easily come by.

2. Another fallacy is - well, do you believe ENOUGH?
This is a red herring. It is like asking your maths teacher to tell you the four sides of a circle. How much faith do I have to believe that Jesus died for me? Can I believe more and enough that Jesus died for my sins? This question which is asked, by surprise, surprise - fellow Christians, denies what Jesus taught about faith as big as the mustard seed. The question only arises if there is a doubt that Jesus did not die for you but the Bible says he did so how much do you have to believe this? This question is not even valid to ask. For the question is not about believing enough, the question is - did he or did he not die for you? The answer has only two possibilities, yes or no.

I am finding it hard to be nice with such people who throw these fallacies around.

Guess who falls for this fallacy? They are people like me who came from Evangelia or Charismania. Having been burnt to dust by the preaching of the Law they throw the baby with the bath water and hang on to the words of Walther and Pieper rather than the words of Scripture and the Confessions. They become another pawn of the cult called repeat-after-me.


Joe Krohn said...

Well said, Lito. Simple enough for a child like faith. It is the example of Abraham that sets the precedent. This is why Paul uses this model/template in Romans.


LPC said...


It is an irksome thing like being kick in the gut when Scripture is perverted and the Confession mis-represented.

Eventually if you think in the anti-faith way, you will be saying things which are direct assault on what Jesus said. Then you won't mind that since your conscience will eventually get seared.

For Luther, this was never a safe option.


Ichabod the Glory Has Departed said...

LP and Joe, you have to add Blog This to your Chrome browser. You can add good and bad blog posts simply by clicking the orange B on the upper right of the Chrome browser. There is some way to do that in Internet Explorer, but IE is too slow for me.
Also, LP - add the social networking buttons by going to design on the new template and clicking that.

LPC said...

Will do, just busy preparing for my conference in Spain.


Ichabod the Glory Has Departed said...

Spain? They are known for their homely monarchs - "The reign in Spain falls mainly on the plain."

Additional gratuitous blogger tips - the new template allows for social networking buttons like Twitter at the bottom of each post. I also like using "most popular posts" as a gadget to give people a glance at recent or ancient popular posts.

LPC said...


I will explore these new blogger features soon, thanks for the tip.


Michael L. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D said...

What’s “simple-minded” about a child’s faith? A child’s faith can grasp the profundity of God’s saving act, His determination not to let creation go down the tubes because of Adam’s stupidity and rebellion. Christ did not declare the mustard seed as "simple;" He said it was small. Zaccheus was small (or somebody was); He was not deemed “simple” by His Lord, for clambering up a tree to see One on the way to being suspended on a tree. The Lord said our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisee to enter the kingdom, and such a fellow as the latter worked very hard at following laws to the extreme. In fact, he even made up a bunch. But if one is imputed the Righteousness of Christ our righteousness, then things fall into place quite nicely. The righteousness of such a one cannot help but exceed that of the Pharisee. Of course, it is useful ... indeed necessary ... for that one to believe in Christ's completed Promise of imputation, and to cling tenaciously to the cross which won a righteousness fulfilling the Promise.

Abraham placed His faith in something not already occurred, in our ordinary perception of the created space-time continuum: the Lamb slain from eternity, the Lamb's righteousness, the Promise that the Lamb (Abraham's Decendant), would crush the head of the Serpent while receiving a bruise on the heel, in return ... all done, by God, on behalf of His created offspring of the woman. God’s promised imputation was believed by Abraham; his eyes of faith, clearly saw what we see, now, looking back in history. In each instance, the actual unfolding of God’s plan, precedes our graced gift to hold fast to what our rods and cones do not see electro-chemically.

Abraham believed that the imputed righteousness of Christ actually applied to him, as won by the bruises inflicted by a cross (as it turned out); so such faith was reckoned by God, as righteousness possessed. It's all about Christ, then; His righteousness precedes that of our own, even should we be the father of many nations

Holy Writ says as much: God is righteous declares Dan 9:7; while all our righteousness, is but filthy rags (Is 64:6).

The act of imputation by a hanging God preceded man-the-worm's faith; for when Christ died and declared "It is finished" we were all His enemies, and scattered like aimless sheep, with the possible exceptions of the blessed gentlemen Rev. Gregory Jackson and LutherRocks.


LPC said...


Based on your understanding, when did God impute righteousness to Abraham, before he believed or at the point of his faith?