Atheists are fundamentally wrong when they use the word “faith” generically in the broad sense to criticize religions such as “the Muslim faith,” or “the Hindu faith,” or “the Christian faith.” Skeptical unbelief reduces all religions into the narrowly horizontal flat-line of man-made inventive nonsense…because the atheist’s starting premise is that God does not exist anywhere in reality and therefore all religions must be man-made fiction.
The loose and inaccurate use of the word “faith” to broadly describe and categorize religions, in my view represents universally shoddy thinking. Anyone reading the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible will quickly notice something extraordinarily unique…a dynamic interaction between God and people of faith. Religious faith is correctly defined…exclusively in the Bible…within God-composed adventures of faith…within the dynamic action of risky ventures that are scripted to produce the outcome of a personal bond between God and people.
Falling in love romantically carries risks. An old adage applies here: “Faint heart never got the fair lady.”
Following God into a dynamic adventure of faith carries similar relational risks and rewards. Faith and trust within a relationship between real people and the real God are the cornerstone reality of the biblical narrative stories of faith. This paradigm of a personal relationship between people and God does not exist anywhere else in other religions, philosophies, or worldviews. It is unique to the Bible. It is arguably the most basic, important issue in all of reality.
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:6)…him, meaning the Lord God…is an outrageously bold and risky statement to make about the biblical God unless He does in fact exist and that He interacts in the affairs of mankind and in the personal lives of people of faith. Many verses in the Bible describe an interactive, dynamic faith that makes no sense without the existence of a real, participant God (Ps. 32:8; Isa. 30:21, 41:10, 44:8; Ezek. 36:26-29), who shows up on time and is fully engaged.
The broadly inaccurate use of the word “faith” by atheists criticizing all religions, in our politically correct culture of relative inclusiveness, would include the false idol-worship of some of the Israelites that from time-to-time became apostate religious practice…yet the worship of dumb idols is the very antithesis of an intimate adventure of faith between God and a person. Religious practices as “faith” are not synonymous.
Brilliant antagonists have been attacking the Bible for hundreds of years. Brilliant Christian apologists have been answering back with credible and compelling rebuttals as the facts come to light in the fields of history, archaeology, science, and theological research.
But the one unassailable part of the Bible is the uniqueness of God-composed journey of faith life-scripts, because these fall inexplicably outside of anything even remotely close to humanistic imagination or invention. This is the theme of this book I am attempting to articulate and to contrast against half-hearted commitment, the self-sovereignty of going our own way, atheistic philosophical materialism, and a subtle strain of complacency as a result of end-times prophetic interpretation…which are the topics of Chapters 1-4 respectively.
Faith is not the same as religious practices, beliefs, and tradition. Dynamic, action-packed, God-composed adventures of faith in the Bible transcend above bland, standardized, man-made religious practices.
A biblical-quality journey of faith life-script creates a challenging yet hope-filled, purposeful, and exhilarating reality of events and circumstances that we could not possibly self-manufacture, because the unconventionality of the way of the cross of Jesus Christ, skillfully interwoven into every God-composed storyline, transcends worldly conventional wisdom.
Why does it take courage to be a Christian? Being a Christian is not just about joining a church…not just about trying to live by the highest standards of honesty and integrity…not just about treating other people with dignity because every person has value…not just about striving for the best relationships in our families, in our friendships, and in our communities…not just about learning to forgive others for their shortcomings because God, through our professed faith in Christ, has forgiven our shortcomings…not just about being the best people we can be as a witness to the world that Jesus Christ is our Savior and King.
The courageous danger zone part of being a Christian is first and foremost about entering into an adventure of faith…which involves as its centerpiece the taking up of our cross…which is and always has been fundamentally contrary to all worldly conventional thinking and practice. A God-composed adventure of faith life-script includes character growth lessons of personally epoch proportions at the very heart of the knowledge of good and evil…uniquely applicable to each of our individual lives…far beyond the reach of our capacity to imagine or contrive.