13 May 2007

Existential crisis goes to Bible study

Today, having skipped church for work, I decided to go to a Bible study hosted by one of my best friends in Niigata. I'm not sure why I go to church or find Bible studies interesting, but it is what it is. We were reading Genesis and talking about a lot of things, but got onto the subject of faith v. hope v. knowledge. This Bible verse was introduced to the discussion:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (God, Hebrews 11:1-3)
You've gotta be kidding me, I thought. So faith is to be sure of something that we hope for. How can we be sure about anything that is in the future? Faith, hope and knowledge are all the same thing. And the goal is to have faith so we can understand. Seems a little circular to the dude.

I think faith is projecting what you know about the past into the future. That is to say, I have faith that my wife will not leave me because I have experienced her love and companionship in the past and I have no reason to think this will change. But I don't know for certain. I would say that hope is a positive projection about the future that is not necessarily based on fact, but rather what I desire. I think knowledge about the future is impossible.