Looking back with the benefit of hindsight…from the vantage point of living in the middle of what is being called the Information Age…doesn’t commonsense Christian apologetics tell us that the oddity of the variableness of faith in the personal relationships between people…should have been an obvious offsetting fact to Charles Darwin when he wrote his famous book The Origin of Species?
Should not the high quality of the variableness of faith be a compelling counter-argument against a naturalistic explanation for the origin of human intelligent decision-making, moral reasoning, qualitative judgment, free-will choice, and communication skills…all coordinated into a functional coherence that cries out for an Intelligent Designer and a Master Craftsman of sublime ability?
On the surface, establishing and maintaining faith in our relationships with other people should be much easier and simpler than it is.
As Christians, it should be easier to place our faith in God in the middle of attacking the current, temporary life-crisis at hand…the current life-lesson for ourselves…and for others in need.
But this is one reason why faith is such an important moral reality…such a central factor in personal relationships.
In our Christian journeys of faith, the challenging issues always seem to come back around to the same successful strategy of centering our trust in God, releasing our faith, relinquishing self-sovereignty over the control of our lives, listening in the Spirit, and patiently waiting…for the answer to our prayer…for the inspirational solution needed…or for the one right path of action to follow…all of which have an element of built-in difficulty.
Why does the foreign missionary find themselves in the difficult situation of trying to make do with limited resources in their balanced evangelical effort to bring the light and the transforming power of the gospel message to the lost…along with the help that is needed in terms of financial and material support to alleviate poverty…and in the process discover what is the elusive sweet-spot balance…which only real-life events and circumstances can define and delineate…between the eternally valuable and the temporally practical needs of people?
Why does the local church pastor find themselves frustratingly short of finances, church member volunteers, and community support to solve the many social problems and desperate needs they confront on a daily basis?
Why does the heart-broken grandmother find herself investing many hours on her knees as a prayer warrior on behalf of a wayward grandchild…temporarily lost in drug or alcohol addiction and walking along the dangerous edge of falling into the abyss of oblivion at any moment?
Why does the calling of Abraham in the Bible involve a time-period of waiting for the birth of his son Isaac?
Why does Moses, part-way through the ten miraculous plagues in Egypt, find himself waking up each morning without Pharaoh relenting and releasing the Israelites from bondage?
Why does David have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death as penned in his beautiful and famous Psalm 23?
Why does Jesus the divine Son of God say in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me”…then without missing a beat says in perfectly executed faith: “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk. 22:42).
Why is there this curious space…this interval…this gap…in time and in outcomes…between where we are and where we want to get to…for ourselves or on behalf of others in need…that creates the opportunity…the space…for free-will choice and biblical faith to operate together in tandem?
Certainly within the vast region of secular pursuits there is an equivalent gap between where people are and where they would like to get to.
This reality is what motivates people to pursue a college degree, advance in their careers, save up money for a European vacation or their future retirement, explore the natural world through scientific investigation, and search for the cure for cancer.
This curious space…this interval…this gap…in time and in outcomes…insightfully observed and brilliantly described in Hebrews 11:1…is the underlying, fundamental reason for the creation of this physical universe having the temporal aspects of time, space, orderliness, and intelligibility.
If we are looking for a reason for why our physical world is the way it is…and why we are here…this curious space…this interval…this gap…in time and in space to create the context for a Hebrews 11:1 adventure of biblical faith to actualize…this may be the answer (Heb. 11:6).
A thesis of this book is that the reality of the universal existence of this space…this gap…between where we are and where we want to go…is a necessary condition for the variableness in degrees of faith to exist…to match the unique variableness of the challenges of our individual callings.
Without this space or gap…as universal and as real as anything we observe and experience…on the vertical continuum scale of good and evil…with absolute good at the very top…the free-will choice to exercise faith in God that defines and differentiates variable degrees of righteousness…cannot exist (Heb. 11:1).
For righteousness to be eternally sustainable for created, non-divine human beings having the moral reasoning capacity for free-will choice…a broad understanding of good and evil…spread-out along this vertical continuum scale of reality…must be fully in-play in our daily experiences in this world environment.
It is also a theme of this book that the exercise of biblical faith…that of enlisting God’s help and participation in closing this space or gap in some particular scenario of circumstances…whatever that may be…is singularly unique in all of human thought and experience.
In my opinion, this is an intellectually plausible and heart-satisfying answer to the universal question of why we are here…in combination with the fact that we are not robots…but instead possess the mental faculties to process and evaluate the deepest of theoretical and philosophical issues (1 Cor. 2:6-12)…such as we are doing in this book.
In my opinion, this is the logical, rational, and reasonable place where we end up after drilling down into the reasons why the world is a rough-and-tumble reality of life for most people.
This curious dynamic of the interaction of faith between the living God and people…in mutually working together through an adventure of faith journey to close the gaps from where we are to where we want or need to go…falls so far outside of worldly conventional normalcy and thinking…so far above self-sovereignty and autonomous self-reliance…that this requires an adequate and satisfactory explanation for believers and unbelievers alike.
This explanation is found within the biblical narrative stories of faith…and nowhere else.
My book…A Popular Defense of the Bible and Christianity…is a free Kindle e-book giveaway on Amazon on Thursday 12/27 through Saturday 12/29.