“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…”
So begins the famous statement of faith called the Apostles’ Creed. The word “creed” comes from the Latin word “credo” which means “I believe”. It’s related to a number of words familiar to us. To attribute “credence” to something is to make it believable. Something “incredulous” is something unbelievable. The words “credit card” means “belief in money which isn’t there.” (Actually, I made that last one up.)
There is something very powerful being said when a Christian uses these two words I believe, as opposed to other words, such as I know or I feel. If I were to say, “I know that God the Father…” we would be in the arena of science and fact. But God is simply not a subject for scientific inquiry.
This is not to say there is no evidence for God’s existence. Creation itself is a powerful pointer to a Designer, and according to Scripture, leaves us without excuse before him. Jesus’ death and resurrection is a provable historical assertion. When a Christian says “I believe” they are not saying that their faith is irrational. Or blind.
Every day we do things “by faith”. Did you send your last hamburger out to be tested before you ate it? Why not? People have gotten sick, even died, by eating tainted meat. Yet you went ahead anyway and stuffed your face. How many bridges did you drive over this past week? Did you stop before each one and inspect it before moving forward? Why not? The nation’s infrastructure is in poor shape these days. Bridges have collapsed while people were driving over them.
Every day we do things “by faith”.
But you proceeded with faith. Yet it wasn’t blind faith. It was faith supported by reason, evidence and the testimony of others. When the Christians says I believe, it’s just this sort of faith that is being utilized.
Maybe not every Christian can defend the soundness of their belief this way (shame on them.) But everyone owes it to themselves to at least investigate why Jesus said he was the “way, the truth, the life” (and if you won’t investigate it, then shame on you.)
Heaven forbid you find yourself standing before the real God on Judgment Day, and realize then that all you ever bothered to learn of Christianity were a few jokes you heard on the golf course.