I clutch my grande mocha macchiato, iced, extra shot, on one hand. My other is deep in my pants pocket.

My friend turns to me and asks, “So how do you know, or what do you know as solid? What do you value?”

I’m not expecting this question. “I’m not sure what you mean,” I say, equal parts confused and curious.

“Well, you know, where do you stand as Christian.”

I know where this is going. My brain immediately switches on to overdrive C.S. Lewis mode, hoping to form an answer that doesn’t sound canned, sanctimonious, and hopefully a bit insightful.

I wince. It doesn’t come.

“If I’m honest,” I say, hoping to stay honest, “I don’t have a well-thought out answer.”

We talk a bit more on our way back to work, but never reaching an answer.

Later that night, I think I should probably reach some kind of conclusion. It’s true that I find keeping questions around in my head extremely satisfying, but this one isn’t happy on the back burner. I’ve put this particular question back there more times than I want to admit to myself.

“Why am I a Christian,” I ask myself for the umpteenth time.

Ah, the question is too big, too wieldy. No way anyone can answer that easily.

“Ok, so then what do you value that you find lines up with the beliefs?”

Let me rephrase that to make sure I understand it, my mind answers. Since Christianity is a set of external ideas (someone else thought them first), how do they line up with the ones I thought of myself?

“Exactly,” I say.


I guess there’s no real way of knowing for certain.

“Yes, but for most people Christianity is what all their actions are based on, good or bad. Not being 100% is dangerous, no?”

No, not exactly. In fact, I think being 100% is the problem.

“Wait. Hold on.”

My mind whirrs a bit.

“What is the basis for your beliefs then?”

I think for a bit.

Well, I mull, I suppose evidence that I take in from every day life.

“That should be a certainty,” I say, half asking.


“Is God a certainty?”

I hoped I asked this question.

I think this is the wrong question to ask.

I’m taken aback at this putative heresy.

Really, I say, sensing my discomfort.

“Please elaborate,” I say, almost scared of my answer.

Gladly. When I read the Bible I find two things, I begin. One, the Bible explains the way that God, for lack of a more descriptive word, has a relationship with humans.

“I can agree with that.”

Hold on, not so fast.

I am antsy. I want to butt in.

See, the second thing I see in the Bible is its complete lack of answers, it’s like it doesn’t even try.

“What? Isn’t this where all the answers are, supposedly?”

Eh, I don’t think the Bible tries to do that. Think about the story in first Kings chapter 18. Almost nowhere else do you see God answering a call to the skeptics, but here he answers in spectacular fashion.

“Ok,” I say cautiously.

Seriously. The one time God says “see, I am real,” Elijah up and straight kills all the witnesses. Wouldn’t that be a bit counterproductive in Elijah’s effort to “rehabilitate” Israel?

I think for a bit. “I suppose.”

The Bible takes almost no time in trying to prove things actually happened. If its proofs were as obvious as its literature, there would be no atheists.

“But because it doesn’t bother with proving anything it says is true, it leaves that crumb of curiosity alive.”

Exactly, I answer, desperately holding my brain back as what I want to say trips over itself on its way out to the page. I want to say it all at once before I forget a single word.

I mean, the other time someone asks if God is real, the answer is quite cryptic.

“Are you talking about when the disciples asked Jesus to show them the Father?”

Yes, I say, while I wrap my head around the concept. Jesus just says, “if you know me you know the Father.” That’s not really an answer.

“Right,” I say, “unless you say, ‘Jesus is the answer.’”

An easy cop-out, a quick conclusion to an argument.

“Right. There has to be some substance, not just claims.”

Ah, but Jesus had very few claims. Think about Matthew 11, where John the Baptist sends his disciples to make sure he baptized the right guy.

“Ok, yeah, Jesus tells the disciples to report back with what they see: ‘The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed— “

the deaf hear, dead are raised and the good news is proclaimed to the poor, I finish. See, there aren’t any claims, just acts.

“And if Jesus’ claims are his ‘works,’ then His whole life is one big ‘helper’ résumé.”

Now you’re getting it.

I’m still a bit lost.

“Wait,” I ask me, “go a bit deeper, I’m still a bit confused.”

Basically, the Bible, Christianity, Jesus—they all tell me what to value, not what to believe.

At this, my mind pauses for a bit. My pen makes circles, smaller and smaller on the page. I’ve hit a bit of a wall. A sentence I’ve said keeps haunting me.

“But because it doesn’t bother with proving anything it says is true, it leaves that crumb of curiosity alive.”

One of the biggest enemies to contemporary thinkers and scientists is the concept of faith. Faith, this, thing, that dictates that we take claims and quasi-facts at face value, even in the absence of evidence.

I have to admit that this definition has bothered me for as long as I can remember. In every single aspect of my life I am told to measure the evidence, think things through, and to make educated choices.

However, when it comes to my morals—what in the end helps me make the big decisions—I must blindly trust.

I can’t buy that.

Or, at least, I couldn’t, until I realized the Bible isn’t preoccupied with providing answers as much as questions and invitations to investigate.

Suddenly, stories where humans haggle with God or Angels or prophets and seem to win make sense. Whether inspired or not, the author wanted to prove that only through a curious incentive to act can one come to the “right” conclusion, to the “moral” action.

I read Hebrews 11 again, the verse Christians parrot off when an attack on faith is eminent. “For faith is the evidence of things unseen,” it read, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Faith is the evidence, not the things unseen.

Faith is what points to believing in the unseen.

My mind quickly jumped to my favorite doomsday device, black holes.

Black holes is what’s left after a massive star gets too old and dies, essentially. It is a concentrated point of gravity and time, from which not even light passes or escapes.

Books and movies have tried to explore what happens around and inside them, some more successfully than others.

However, with our naked eye, black holes are invisible. We gather information through our eyes when the light reflects off a surface. If light doesn’t leave a black hole, there is nothing for our eyes to capture.

For a long time, though, that black holes existed was predicted by mathematics. Proof finally came about when observing evidence from objects around a black hole.

Suns and other materials orbiting seemingly nothing, disappearing or sending out massive amounts of energy.

There had to be something there.

All the mathematics and observations finally led to the conclusion that indeed, a black hole lay where the evidence said it would.

The evidence said it would.

Faith said it would.

I realized then that we have ascribed a definition to “faith” different to that of the author of Hebrews.

Finally, the feud between science and faith, in my mind came to rest.

I’m not supposed to have all the answers. “Come, let us reason,” says Isaiah 1:18. Never a direct proof, just invitations to see closely, and then really observe and explore.

It’s what drew me to science in the beginning!

This drive to learn more, not give out canned answers!

In the same way theoretical physicists know that the Universe must work with a unified time-space theory, bridging relativity and quantum mechanics, with something that is unknown, I can believe that love works.

Love, in the end, is the only thing that the Bible puts out as a definite.

Love, unconditional, from me to you. Without it, even if I could move mountains says a passage, I’m incomplete.

Then I came across it. First John, chapter 4, verse 8, “God is love.”

Christianity to me, then, is the incessant need to always learn, and never lose my curiosity. A human, a myth, or God himself, Jesus exemplified it: sick are healed, and good news is proclaimed. I can’t be the one to tell you what the good news is.

Me, I’ll try to live up to this: “Love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with my God.”