What Is Faith? [Insert Your Answer Here]

What is faith?

We Christians talk a lot about it, especially as it concerns our salvation. Truth be told, we like to leave it there at the point of conversion, confined in the Salvation Box we’ve created for it.

And yet we’re called to walk by it, to live “from faith to faith”, and to ensure our faith is evident to all.

But it would seem to me to be difficult at best, impossible at worst, to engage something we can’t define. I would suggest one reason we Christian don’t walk by faith all that well is that we don’t know what faith is. That’s not the only reason, of course, but it is a foundational one.

We could just quote Hebrews 11, as if that answered it:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Yet my experience in Christianity leads me to conclude that a lot of us quote Scripture as if that settled something — when we really don’t have a clue what we just said.

Faith is something I’ve thought about quite a bit over the last few years of our own journey. It’s the topic of the manuscript I’m working on now, in fact. So I have given the question a bit of attention.

 How I Define Faith

For what it’s worth, here is my answer to the question of  “what is faith?”:

Faith is doing what you believe to be true, often in spite of what you may see, sense, or feel.

I would repeat it to give you time to think about it, but we’re working with text here — so just reread it yourself.

And then I’d truly like to know your thoughts about it. Does this definition capture what faith is? What would you add or subtract? Is there another definition you’ve found that betetr captures what the Bible says faith must be?

I’d welcome your input with a comment below.

About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, author, and speaker who empowers people to live an authentic life with abundant faith. A former pastor, Christian school leader, and master teacher, he is the founder of FaithWalkers (Faithwalkers.com) where he equips Christians to live an authentic life and a blogger on faith and cultural issues at Patheos and TheResurgent.com. He is the author of several books including A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life, What God Wants You to Do Next, The Secret to Explosive Personal Growth, and multiple collaborative books including his latest with co-author Erick Erickson — You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe (Regnery, February 22, 2016).
In addition to his own writing and speaking, Bill helps other people and organizations tell their own story in effective ways. He comes alongside authors as a collaborative writer, handcrafts engaging materials as a content creator, and creates an effective brand strategy as a platform developer with his team of creatives and digital technicians. (BillintheBlank.com)