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, simplistic thinking. Anyone carefully reading the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible will 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 living 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, living 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” to characterize all religions, in our politically correct culture of relative inclusiveness, would embrace as valid 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 the intimate biblical adventure of faith between God and a person. Religious practices and “faith” are terms that are not truly and accurately 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, linguistics, philosophy, and theological research.
But the one unassailable…and as yet untouched…part of the Bible is the utter uniqueness of God-composed journey of faith life-scripts, because these fall inexplicably outside of anything even remotely close to humanistic explanation or fictional, imaginary invention. This is the theme…a uniquely biblical danger zone of faith in the real, living God…outside of accepted, worldly conventional thinking…that I am attempting to articulate in this book.
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, institutionalized, 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, rises far above worldly conventional wisdom.