In the film shawshank redemption Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and lover and is sentenced to life in prison. Before the judge, Dufresne claims to be innocent but the evidence would say otherwise. Andy never denies the evidence, he uses the evidence as a part of his story. He claimed to have driven to the house a little drunk, to have broken a glass bottle on the ground, to have had his gun with him. He makes a turn. “I sobered up and went for a drive, I stopped on top of the bridge and threw my gun in the river.” Unfortunately Dufresne was unable to prove this, they had a team search the river and could not find the gun. The court had to make a small leap and assume Dufresne was lying about his story, so they threw him in prison and the movie gets really good!
This film illustrates well that faith despite proof is inevitable. Another incident reminded me of this most recently. A sliding/screeching noise woke me up at 1 in the morning the other night and was driving me crazy. In the morning I looked out the window to see one of our orange buckets blowing down the street. My wife said “the wind must have blew that bucket down the street last night, did you hear it scraping?” I said “I heard something scraping, how do you know it was that bucket making that noise?” She said “because it’s not in our backyard anymore, so it must have been.” To that I said “yeah, it probably was.” The evidence was heavy. But in all of this we still had to simply believe the bucket made the noise, we could not know with absolute certainty. We had good reason for assuming the fact, but faith came when all of the reasons were squeezed out.
Balance is the best thing when it comes to talk of reason and faith. Reason alone is not sufficient because it cannot really exist. It requires a lot of faith to believe the world can explain itself. Faith apart from reason can of course exist, but our minds are very important, reason is to bring us to faith. If you believe in something for no reason your probably wrong.
Scripture values faith greatly. Salvation comes through faith. “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1) Faith does not save us. Jesus does that. But it is when we put our faith in Jesus that we are saved.
So what? Why does this stuff about faith and reason even matter? In a world full of people that are throwing ideas, philosophies, and belief systems left and right these things are important to grasp. Every person has an agenda, an agenda to persuade and we should all be very open and available for persuasion. My agenda is to persuade people to put their faith in Jesus, I want to be a clear communicator as to the reasons for doing so, but to say I can prove anything with 110% certainty is false. We all put faith into practice. The question is, what are we putting are faith in and does that thing fit best with the way the world works? Bravery is good for many things, like fighting or trying something new, but to be brave in faith is not admirable.