One of the best ways this has ever been handled is in Roy Deaver’s book, “Ascertaining Bible Authority.” In lesson five, Deaver discusses the meaning of faith by discussing what faith is and what it is not. He wrote faith is the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) and is the thing that anchors or ties us securely to those things “within the veil,” (Hebrews 6:19).
Deaver listed statements made by people he had known who had wrong ideas of faith. He very kindly discussed those ideas and why they were in error. Some of them are:
- There is no way to prove God exists. We are compelled to accept the idea by faith.
- The man of faith believes as if he knew.
- Faith transcends what can be proven, therefore it is an assumption that God exists. (This is the “leap of faith” for which Kierkegaard was famous.)
- The atheist has a faith and I have a faith.
Faith is not just believing what is seen, as Thomas in John 20:29, but it is believing that which man cannot see. Noah believed though he had never seen a worldwide flood (Hebrews 11:7). Abraham believed not knowing where he was going because he knew the unseen God (Hebrews 11:8-10). Moses chose to suffer because he considered the unseen to be greater riches than Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-26).
People are weak in faith today partly because they’ve been led to accept a false idea of what faith is. One of Brother Deaver’s greatest contributions to the world and to the kingdom is that he tried to educate people what faith truly is.