I am very sure that the title of this piece evokes a mixed feeling, causing some believers to cringe and even be put off. How is it possible for one to be reasonable when it comes to matters faith, one may ask? I hope to share a perspective that will guide how we look at this topic and our lives as people of Faith and invite non-believers to share in our Hope.
There are 2 aspects of faith that I want us to look at namely, The Object and the Expression (Acts).
We express some form of faith in every aspect of our lives and what grounds our faith or trust is mainly the object of our Faith. A man's words are as powerful as the man is he is. A lady is willing to accept the proposal of a man based on a certain level of confidence (or Faith) she has in the man because the man might have shown signs that he is worthy of her love and trust.
When the Christian professes faith in Jesus Christ to do something that is impossible within our physical limitations, he is not merely looking at the difficulty of what they want to achieve but the Person in whom the trust is placed to be able to perform. It is the object of one's faith that is always the Focus. Whenever a demand is placed on a person, we are most likely looking at the person's history of acts to know what they can do. In effect, Faith should be hinged on Truth which can be reasonably assessed or tested.
Now to the Person of Jesus Christ, the Christian understands by the Scriptures (Colossians 2:9) that God was revealed bodily in Jesus Christ and that He was killed by crucifixion and resurrected. In the popular chapter where Faith is discussed in the Bible, one verse really sticks out to me, i.e Hebrews 11:6:
"But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
It is the existence of Yahweh that is brought into question. To have faith in God one must first believe that He exists else we cannot have any conversation about Faith in God.
To appreciate His personality we look at His death and resurrection because this among many other things is the claim Jesus Christ made about Himself as foretold by many prophets recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible. To put our trust in Him is reasonable because we have received a true testimony about Jesus Christ. It is simply reasonable to pay heed to one who rose from the dead when He says anything about eternal life because there is great certainty. This is a good basis to eliminate all others who claim divine/prophetic status because none of them actually promises and demonstrates Power over death.
If there is no resurrection it will be very unwise to have faith in Jesus Christ because that is the very message and truth upon which all that he did and said hangs. It is in His death and resurrection that our sins are forgiven making us justified - Romans 4:25. Paul talks about Jesus Christ rising from the dead according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4) to illustrate that the nature of the resurrection had been already talked about and that if that wasn't realized then Jesus Christ is not worthy of our trust.
A greater number of believers always give the reason for their Faith in Jesus Christ based on a Personal Experience. This is very helpful in growing in the faith. The only challenge I see over here is that it is merely subjective and the truth component is difficult to determine. What Christians preach is a transcendent, universal and objective truth which says EVERY INDIVIDUAL should submit to the Authority of Jesus Christ.
Our human experiences are very different. Some people will talk about some experience of a sort that did not lead them to Jesus Christ. Islam talks about Mohammed having an experience with an Angel and receiving messages that ultimately led to the formation of another religion. One will really need very falsifiable proofs to help us validate their truth claims which I am afraid Islam terribly fails to do.
I want to invite every individual to examine all the claims that are made by their religion or faith and to test whether they are true and not based on how it makes us feel as individuals, families or societies in promoting some sort of personal agenda.
For those who want to examine the Christian Faith, the following are some resources I have found helpful in understanding the Truth upon which my faith in Jesus Christ should be based on:
The following resources also ask the critical questions I think Muslims might have not paid attention to regarding their Faith. I challenge them to pay attention to these resources and test whether the claims of Islam can really stand the test of Truth.
I invite you to put your trust/faith in Jesus Christ because He has indeed proved that He is worthy of it and He can give us eternal life because he has demonstrated that death has no power over Him by His Resurrection.
God bless you and have a blissful Easter Celebration.