Ask the Pastor 98

What is Fideism?

“Fideism holds that the only way we can know anything about God is by faith. Truth is subjective and personal, so we can believe it but not prove it.” (Geisler, Brooks). There is an old hymn which has the words, “You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart.” This expresses the view of the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and existentialism. Truth can only be determined by the inner person who believes and acts upon it. The problem with this view is that it does not determine what is true, it only determines what one person believes is true. Therefore, it is possible that anything is true, the Koran can be just as true as the Bible. A person might believe, very strongly, that jumping off a ten-story building will not kill them with the sudden stop at the bottom, but we know by others’ experience that is not true. This is not to diminish the importance faith because without faith it is impossible to come to God and the just shall live by faith. But we do want to emphasize that our faith is not just a jump into the dark and that we believe just because we believe. We have at least three proofs of what we believe, the created universe, the testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ as communicated in the Gospels and the entire Scriptures, our Bibles. There are things that are impossible to know completely and there, our faith steps in and says that based upon the evidence that I do know, I can believe what I do not totally understand.

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