Can We Argue Someone Into Faith?

arguing manOne amazon customer, named “Ladybug,” once wrote a review in a discussion over Lee Stroble’s book called, “The Case for Christ.” I agreed with her review, and with her permission, I’m reposting it here for your benefit:

“How do faith and rationalization relate to one another? Perhaps the great gifts of our intellect and reason are meant to be used in concert with faith in God. Some of us throw them out in the name of faith, and others try to use them instead of faith. Either position seems to lead to trouble.

I come from the position of being a believer in Jesus. Over 30 years ago, He revealed the reality of Himself to me. He spoke to my heart in an unmistakable way and my life was changed. I never want to go back to living my life without Him.

Rational arguments that God exists piqued my interest, but could not have taken me all the way to Him. As a believer, they are reassuring to me but my faith rests on God and not my own wisdom nor that of others. One of the first Bible verses I learned says it well: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not unto your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

I find it interesting that Lee Strobel started his faith journey based on the positive changes he saw in his wife after she became a Christian. He thought her conversion would lead to them getting divorced; apparently he didn’t expect to be able to relate to her anymore, but that didn’t happen. If anything, the changes he saw in her caused him to reconsider his views on science and faith.

I’m not a scholar, but I do appreciate rational thinking. There are many things on many subjects that I don’t understand, but the truth of a matter is not based on my understanding. Something is either true or not regardless of what I think about it. Faith has to be involved when one accepts or rejects a matter unless one knows everything about everything. It comes down to faith in our own knowledge and understanding (which no matter how extensive is incomplete) or faith in God (who is omniscient).

We can amuse ourselves forever with intellectual arguments and counter-arguments but they can never lead us to certainty about the existence or non-existence of God. Ultimately, we can only approach God through faith as stated in Heb. 11:6, “…and without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists.” According to this verse, a prerequisite for approaching God is to believe that He exists.

There’s a saying I like: “man says ‘show me and I’ll believe,’ God says ‘believe and I’ll show you.”

Source: (retrieved 12-29-13).

Ladybug, what a wise woman you are. Thanks for the post!