Friday, April 1, 2016

Help Me Believe - More

What do the father in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, a blogger in Calgary, several pastors in Calgary, some seminary professors, Karl Barth, Anselm, and Francis Schaeffer[1] have in common? They all have stated, “Lord, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” It is normal to need this kind of help. In fact, seeking help in overcoming our unbelief is a requirement of mature Christian belief.

The writings of Karl Barth suggest that the appropriate sequence leading to belief is, “revelation, faith, and then faith seeking understanding.”[2] In this schema, revelation, that which has been revealed to humans, is present first. Revelation is followed by a degree of faith in this revelation. Then that faith (as small as a mustard seed or larger like an acorn), results in a desire to seek more understanding and is directed toward digging deeper into the revelation.

You may well ask, “What is this revelation?” “Which revelation?” “Whose revelation?”

Theologians such as those who write for BioLogos and some who teach at Regent College,[3] tell us that God has revealed himself to humans through his two books: the book of creation and the book of the Bible. The book of creation includes all matter, anti-matter, dark-matter, and the principles which order the structure and movement of the universe. The Bible, God’s special revelation to human beings, consists of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. This book requires much “faith seeking understanding” and contains enough revelation and mystery to last a lifetime of study. Yet, it is comprehensible, just as the book of creation is comprehensible, with abundant study (think about the book of Romans and about gravitational waves – both require a great deal of concentration, study, and faith in the methods used).

Dear reader, as you consider the size of your own faith (molecular-sized, mustard-seed-sized, the size of a bread-box), do not become weary in “faith seeking understanding.” Have faith, seek faith, ask questions of the revelation you see, grow in your faith, and grow in your understanding. The God of all universes will do the rest.

Works Cited:
Barth, Karl. Anselm: Fides Quarens Intellectum. Eugene: Pickwick Publications, 2009.
Schaeffer, Francis A. How Should We Then Live: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1976.
Wilkinson, Loren. "Introduction." Biologos Website. Vancouver: Biologos, 2016.

[1] (Schaeffer 1976)
[2] (Barth 2009)
[3] (Wilkinson 2016)

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