“Consequences of Faith”

After examining the arguments for the existence of God, Batsell Barrett Baxter in his book, I Believe Because…, demonstrates that there are consequences to skepticism and faith. Quote after quote from famous skeptics paint a dark picture of life. Life is meaningless and hopeless. Morality is crumbling leading to ever greater anger, rebelliousness, violence, and destructiveness.

The chapter entitled, “Consequences of Faith,” presents a far brighter view of life. Life has meaning, joy, and hope. One quote is from T.B. Larimore, a Christian educator and gospel preacher, written in his later years:

My faith has never been stronger; my hope has never been brighter; my head has never been clearer; my heart has never been calmer; my life has never been purer. I love all; I hate none. My love for some lifts my soul into the realm of the sublime. I am willing to die today; I am willing to live a thousand years, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love. My friends are dearer to me; association with them is sweeter to me; my sympathy for suffering souls is stronger; my love for all the pure, the true, the beautiful, the good, and the sublime—from the bud, the blossom, the babe, up to Him from whom all blessings flow—is truer, tenderer, sweeter, than ever before…. I sleep soundly, dream sweetly, and “rejoice evermore.” “The word” is sweeter and stronger to me than ever before. O it is delightful to love and be loved, and to do whatsoever duty demands! My vanity is all gone. What the people say does not bother me. I’ll never waver, but always to the right be true.

My experience in life tells me that Larimore’s sentiments are not unique. The walk of faith develops this kind of character.

Baxter observed that for the Christian, “we accept one big miracle (God) and everything else makes sense. In atheism man must accept an endless series of little miracles in order to explain existence.” The problem for the skeptic is that life then doesn’t make sense. The consequences of faith are that life has meaning, and death is faced with hope.

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