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JoeMo

Faith - Proof Beyond Doubt or Preponderance of Evidence?

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JoeMo

I don't know if this is an original thought for others or not - it was for me.  When we debate points of doctrine/faith on this forum, people ask for "proof"; and if the initial "proof isnb't sufficient, they ask for more "proof".  If they don't ask for "proof", they provide "proof that the other person is wrong and they are right.  This frequently leads to arguments and accusations hinting at heresy or apostasy.  It got me to thinking - what is the basis of personal faith?  Do we require "proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, or do we lean on the preponderance of evidence?

In my walk as a Christian,  I find that my faith constantly evolves.  As a Catholic, I was a Trinitarian.  When I became a JW, I wasn't.  When I was baptized an SDA I was again.  Now I'm not again.  When I first heard about EGW, I thought it she was full of it.  As I read her more and more, I began to believe she might indeed be a true prophet.  As my Bible Study deepened, I found things in scripture that didn't jive with EGW's writings.  So now I think of her as an inspired writer; but not a prophet.  When I went through my "Taliban" SDA phase, I was convicted that I needed to keep the law perfectly or else I would burn.  I found my efforts to be futile; and I never witnessed anything close to a "perfect" Christian.  As my Bible study deepened, I realized that I am saved by grace alone; and anything "good" in me is a result of grace, not my own efforts.

I guess I'm trying to say that my faith has evolved over my life as a Christian.  Things I was once convicted of, I now reject; and vice-versa.  As I study scripture, I discover "evidence" that I may not have seen before.  As that evidence is realized, it modifies my faith.  As I think about it, my "faith" is guided by the preponderance of evidence rather than "proof beyond the shadow of a doubt".  If it was "proof beyond a shadow of a doubt, it would be "fact" not "faith".  Faith by definition is hope for things not seen.

When people challenge me on this forum, I don't always have strong responses.  Sometimes my response should be "I don't know".

In conclusion, some of my faith involves things that I believe I have been shown; but I can't "prove" it beyond the shadow of a doubt.  I can only go on the evidence I have received, and as new evidence is revealed, sometimes my faith is revised.  What thinkest thou?

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JoeMo

In the post above, I neglected to say that sometimes the new "evidence" doesn't just come from my read of scripture; sometimes I feel the Spirit tells me to look at certain scriptures differently; or gives me an idea to research in scripture.  At any rate, many times scripture and/or the spirit change the balance of the preponderance of evidence.

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phkrause
On 12/21/2018 at 9:59 PM, JoeMo said:

Faith by definition is hope for things not seen.

I definitely believe in that statement!!

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