I received a question from someone wanting to know how they can increase their faith. If faith is a choice, then how does one choose faith?
My response is below:
The term “faith” as it is used in scripture refers to such confidence in divine truths as produces good works. That is to say such confidence in the truths related to God that it impacts the way in which you live. With that in mind, it is hard to make sense of the term apart from one’s free will choices.
So how does one develop faith? One would develop their faith by reflecting on the basis for that faith, and thus shoring up their confidence in divine truths. J.P. Moreland put it this way in Love God with All Your Mind:
On the one hand, Scripture holds us responsible for our beliefs since it commands us to embrace certain beliefs and warns us of the consequences of accepting other beliefs. On the other hand, experience teaches us that we cannot choose or change our beliefs by direct effort. For example, if someone offered you $10,000 to believe right now that a pink elephant was sitting next to you, you could not really choose to believe this in spite of having a good motive to do so! Happily, there is a way out of this paradox: We can change our beliefs indirectly. If i want to change my beliefs about something, I can embark on a course of study in which I choose to think regularly about certain things, read certain pieces of evidence and argument, and try to find problems with evidence raised against the belief in question. More generally, by choosing to undertake a course of study, meditation, and reflection, I can put myself in a position to undergo a change in the content, strength, and centrality of my beliefs.
If someone wanted to develop their faith in the truths of Christianity, then they might embark on a course of study reviewing the arguments for God’s existence and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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