Tuesday, April 21, 2020

But, what if…

So, what should all of this mean to a modern-day person of faith? First, and perhaps most importantly, people of faith should not be afraid of the data. No matter the direction the evidence points, the evidence itself need not become a stumbling block. Faith in God cannot be challenged or changed by any evidence or data one might unearth. Simply put, no data could ever prove or disprove God’s identity or existence. That is why belief in God is called faith. As a scholar and a person of faith, I find great comfort in this fact. Yes, it is possible that the data will challenge things we believe about history or the Bible. It may even challenge things we believe about God or ourselves. But the data has no power to change God, to make God any less real, or to make us any less beloved by God.

Second, God gave us brains, and it is okay to use them. Faith will always be belief in things we cannot know, but it does not require turning a blind eye to things that can be known. Nor does it require forcing the evidence to fit any particular viewpoint in order to “prove” a certain perspective. Studying the Bible can and should change what we believe about who God is. The more we learn, the more our faith grows and matures. Sometimes that growth is uncomfortable, and sometimes it takes us places we did not expect, but God does not abandon us along the journey.— Josey Bridges Snyder in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, p. 124

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