Faith Is More about Confidence than Certainty

The late Randy Newman (1956-2024) believed that faith shouldn’t be rejected because of doubt or a lack of certainty. Watch this video to hear him explain why.

Christians Can Be Confident

I think there are a lot of people who reject our message because they just have a few doubts and they say, “Oh, I just can’t be absolutely 100 percent sure.”

I think that’s a common objection. I very quickly say to people, “I’m not a hundred percent sure.” And they’re usually shocked, saying “What? Wait a minute. You said you’re a Christian!”

Yeah, but 100 percent absolute certainty? I’m not that smart. I don’t think anyone’s that smart. I think there’s an arrogance in saying we can know with absolute certainty. That sounds more like the Enlightenment than from the Bible.

Questioning Faith

Randy Newman

In these honest stories about spiritual searching, doubt, and belief, apologetics teacher Randy Newman gives sincere inquirers the opportunity to investigate faith and encounter God’s love.

I think the Bible gives us a very, very, very high level of confidence. The Bible itself tells us there are some things God’s not going to tell us. So it’s more about how can I have faith—a growing, strong faith that transforms me—even when there are some doubts mixed in?

And there are some doubts. There are some times that I wonder and I struggle. But I want to say to non-believers that I don’t think it’s necessary to have 100 percent absolute certainty if we have a high level of confidence. And then I very quickly want to say, “And we do!” God has revealed himself to us in amazing, staggering ways so that we can know him.

God has revealed himself to us in amazing, staggering ways so that we can know him.

He’s not hiding and he’s not saying, “Well, you’ll have to search from within.” That’s got to be the worst thing. Searching within for answers? We don’t have the resources for that. But God has spoken, and the Bible emphasizes that so much.

Think about Psalm 119. The longest psalm is about the fact that God has revealed himself to us. So I always try to make the distinction between absolute certainty and a very high level of confidence.

Randy Newman is the author of Questioning Faith: Indirect Journeys of Belief through Terrains of Doubt.

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