I hope you are enjoying this Faith Defense series for Christian teens. If we haven’t addressed a question you have or your teen has, please email it to us and we’ll respond directly to you. We’ll also add the question and answer as one of our future articles.
Here’s our next question from a Christian teen.
“This brings me to a question on faith: should logic be the foundation for faith or should faith be the foundation for logic (perhaps even to the extent that the existence of logic proves the existence of super natural forces that facilitate objective reality)? Some of the high school logic books I have read teach the later, saying that the claim ‘The Bible is true because it says it is’ is similar to the atheist’s ‘Materialistic logic is true because it is’—both fall back on circular reasoning as a place to hang all other chains of reason.”
The word ‘logic’ comes from the Greek word logos, which means ‘reason, word, thought, expression of thought or idea, speak, speech, declaration.’ It carries the idea of thinking and speaking intelligently.
Jesus is called the Logos of God in John 1:1 –
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The word ‘faith’ comes from the Greek word pistis, which means ‘trust, confidence, persuade.’
It comes from the word peithô, which means ‘persuade, be persuaded, come to trust.’
To ‘come to faith’ in God means to be persuaded that something is true and trustworthy.
So, which should come first? Reason or trust? I think reason is first because to trust anything that is not reasonable (logical) is not wise.
As for the ‘foundation’ for the Christian faith, the Apostle Paul addressed that in his letter to the Ephesians –
“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”Ephesians 2:19-22
Christianity is built on the “foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” That means our foundation for our ‘faith’ is the ‘logic’ of the apostles, prophets and Jesus Christ. That means what they said and wrote.
Can we trust what the apostles said and wrote? How about the prophets? How about what Jesus Christ said? I believe we can based on all the evidence we have for the credibility and reliability of the Old and New Testaments and for the trustworthiness of the life of Christ. The fact that Jesus died according to the Scriptures (Old Testament prophetic writings), was buried, rose from the dead according to the Scriptures (Old Testament prophetic writings), and was seen alive after the resurrection by a host of witnesses is our evidence of the truthfulness of Christianity.
I believe the death and resurrection of Christ are the strongest evidences for the Christian faith. As Paul wrote –
“Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have [c]fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”1 Corinthians 15:12-19
The Old Testament prophets predicted the coming of Jesus Christ to a remarkable degree (Messianic prophecies). The New Testament apostles recorded the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to a remarkable degree (Messianic fulfillment). Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the most remarkable event in all of human history.
Jesus is the Logos of God and His speech (expression of logical thought) carries with it the credibility of Heaven itself –
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”Hebrews 1:1-4
There are many excellent reasons to trust the Bible based on history, archaeology and other sciences. However, I trust what Jesus Christ said because of the proof of His life. Even as the Bible speaks clearly to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, non-biblical ancient sources also speak to it as well. Unbelievers who wrote about Christ and Christians were not attempting to prove that Christianity was true. In fact, they were often mocking the faith of Christians. However, even as they mocked and ridiculed they also supported as fact that belief in the risen Christ and worship of Him as God was normal for Christians.
Many of the writings of the Apostle Paul are admitted by unbelieving scholars as being legitimate. Paul, a strong opponent of early Christianity, became a follower of Jesus Christ. Paul changed immediately from persecuting Christians to preaching Christ as the Son of God –
“Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”Acts 9:20
Paul’s life as a Pharisee and his remarkable change in both character and purpose is another powerful example of how logic impacted both apostles and prophets. God spoke (logos) to them and they responded by trusting God’s Word.
That’s what we do. We hear God’s Word (logos) and trust it. That is our ‘faith’ in the ‘logic’ of God.
Thanks for your question!
The Next Question
In the next part of our special series, Tough Questions From Christian Teens, we will ask …
How Do We Thank God For Jesus’ Death On The Cross?
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.