Last week I ended with a thought-provoking quote from Augustine —
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
Far be it from me to argue with one of the great minds of the church, but I wonder again if Augustine was correct. Faith is subjective in so many ways. Faith is sometimes described as distinct from reason or even its opposite.
Faith must have some objective component! If someone disappoints me again and again, I reach a place where I no longer have faith in him or her. If the evidence accumulates that my assumption is untrue or my perspective is flawed I need to question or abandon it.
Faith is a tension between believing in spite of the evidence (to which I plan to turn next week) and the need to root my faith in a reality that is, well, real.
Much of what I believe I cannot prove. I cannot prove that God is real. That I love my wife and children, family and friends. That America is an ideal worth believing. And as I suggested a week ago I have plenty of reasons to not believe, to not trust.
But when I consider the alternative I am left adrift. I cannot conceive a world without faith (which to me also implies a world without hope and without love). Or life without these things. I want my explanations! I want my reasons! I want to know “why?” But what I want even more is to believe.