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Saturday, December 06, 2003                                                                                       View Comments

Hello again Dave,

I've just looked at your bible quiz. . Pretty interesting. As a bible student I'd certainly come across many of those inconsistencies before, but as we both know, the "faith" answer can be used to justify every nutty concept.

That leads me to a few problems I have had with the whole concept of "faith" for a while. The Bible implies that Christians are rewarded for their faith, which it defines in Hebrews 11 as the "evidence of things not seen". Elsewhere it talks about our faith being "more precious than gold that perishes".

My problem is, why is faith so important?

It would seem that God is hiding from us (some talk of a "shy" God, ...please!) and wants us to pray and have faith to get the answers we're looking for. Some churches teach that we grow in faith by going through trials of suffering and believing God will get us through them (evidence to the contrary notwithstanding). You may even recall a popular little piece of a few years ago, "Footsteps in the sand" about God carrying us through our hard times, even though it feels to us that he isn't there. Why is God playing hard to get if he really wants a relationship with us? Some would say we've earnt the separation from God through original sin. So I guess this really makes earth hell as some define it?

I don't buy the faith-building tenet. If we go to an afterlife with God and will "see him as he is' (Book of Revelation, I think), why would we need faith -- we can see him, and talk to him directly presumably?

Perhaps I am confused or ignorant. But I'm not sure how many Christians have thought this through.

What are your thoughts?

Gray