Use Reason to Nurture Faith

DALLAS WILLARD

We do not suppose that we are going to convert people or change their lives merely by the power of our own reasoning. But, as with everything in life, we are called by God to put forth our efforts in expectation and faith that they will be anointed and that in the effect of those efforts we will see a greater difference than we could possibly make on our own. The mark of the Spirit in an activity is always the incommensurability of the result with the effort. Always. And if you look through the Bible or listen to the testimonies of Christians, you will see that that is the way it always works. We put forth our effort, and the result is much greater than could possibly be caused by our effort alone.

Remember that in doing the work of apologetics, we are helping Christians and non-Christians. This includes ourselves as well as others, because if the medicine we have isn’t good for us, it probably won’t be good for others. We are using our reason to help people come to a clear place of faith, where their confidence in the God of the Bible will be just as real as the floor on which they stand. That’s faith. That’s the kind of faith that results in peace, hope, and obedience, because it is a faith that puts us in touch with the reality of the kingdom of God.

From The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus. Copyright © 2015 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

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