MY faith

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My teenage friend asked innocently enough…”Mr. Roy, how do you know?”

“How do you know that there is a God?  How do you know that what we believe is right?”

Wow.

The Bible is clear – always be ready to give an answer…

I immediately flashed back to the summer of 1985.  It was then that I was confronted with the following:

Had I grown into my parents version of faith?  Did I really think about it?  Carefully think it through?  Had I made an intentional faith choice based upon anything else but my very core yearning to answer the call of my Creator?

Having a Religion minor from The University of Florida meant one thing – exposure to ALL world religions.

Dr. Cohen, a Jewish professor seemed to take great joy is undoing the simple beliefs of us freshman Christ followers.  It was his constant intellectual attacks that sobered me into the understanding that I bought into a religious belief system that I  knew very little about and had honestly never critically analyzed.

Being the son of the debate master, I scheduled an office visit with Dr. Cohen.  My young male teenage bravado was ready to take this evil professor down!  Here is my repressed recollection of that faithful day that I was eaten alive:

Dr. Cohen: How do you know Roy that the Bible is really true?

Me: Because it says right here in my Bible that all Scripture is inspired by God…”

Dr. Cohen: Yes, but how do you know that what THAT says is true?”

Me: Ummm, because it’s God’s word.

Dr. Cohen: If all you do in your argument is use the claims in the Bible to tell me what is true, then your argument is flawed – that is what is called “Circular Reasoning”, and your argument means nothing.

Me: Ok, I gotta go now.

The logic that I had based my whole argument (and faith) upon was full of holes, and I was sinking fast.

I never returned to his office.  He had embarrassed me.  But I praise God for Dr. Cohen.  In fact, I’ve always wondered if he intentionally took his time to help me get on track for my spiritual faith journey.  He never once tried to convert me to his way of thinking.  Dr. Cohen challenged me to find MY faith path.

To my young friend who asked me the “how do I know” question – after reliving the above flashback – I offered:

My goal is to help you think through your faith choices.  Listen to my story.  Here is how I know that Jesus Christ is my Savoir and why I chose to worship Him with my life.  But that alone is not the reason for you to chose Him.  That alone will not hold up in a college level debate.

Mark Mittelberg in his book “Choosing Your Faith” said: “You owe it to yourself to not only think about what your faith choice will be, but to first step back and think about how you are thinking about it.”

Billions of people around this world often pick the faith handed to them by their faith influencers without ever critically considering it’s eternal validity.

If you have chosen Christ Jesus as your Savior – why?   Someone needs to know YOUR answer…

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Excellent Roy. It’s why I believe that it is important that followers of Christ to understand how the Bible came to be – yes, in our community we can say “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching” but that doesn’t mean anything to someone who doesn’t know Jesus or is struggling with matters of faith. We need to understand some rudimentary apologetics. We need to share how we came to understand this faith to be true, rather than just say “Because the Bible tells me so.”

    Good thoughts…very challenging.

  2. Posted by Mark Mittelberg on February 21, 2008 at 2:51 PM

    Roy:
    Just saw your great article — and wanted to cheer you on. You captured perfectly the motivation behind writing my book Choosing Your Faith, as well as the Choosing Your Faith New Testament. My hope and prayer is that these will deepen the faith of believers — helping them to better “give an answer to everyone who asks — and be a tool to help the countless people in our culture making faith choices everyday, but without coaching or guidance on how to make those choices wisely.

    God bless you and your efforts to spread the Good News!

    – Mark Mittelberg

  3. Thanks Andy and Mark.

    And Mark – love your book. Am considering carrying it in our church bookstore. I highly recommend it — it is so challenging, and we all need to be challenged in our faith. Thanks for stopping by.

    roy

  4. Roy, this post was a Godsend…If you only knew! Thanks!

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