The Facts or Fiction Conference, held on September 25 at the Zeeland East High School in Zeeland, Michigan, was a fast-paced and very informative conference. Four speakers gave presentations on various topics; the third presentation was by Emilee Danielson, who with her husband Chris co-hosts the morning show on radio station JQ99. Emilee spoke on the topic of “The Facts Matter—Why Do You Believe What You Believe?”
Emilee addressed three questions in her presentation. The first question she covered was, “What do you believe?”
She stated that what one believes depends on in whom one puts one’s faith. She also made the point that we are all creatures of faith, regardless of whether or not one is religious; faith is not a strictly religious term. She went on to discuss the meaning of faith,
According to Richard Dawkins, “Faith is a process of non-thinking, blind trust.” This represents the atheistic view of faith. The Biblical definition of faith, however, is as follows: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1.
Emilee went on to explain three reasons for exercising faith:
Credentials or knowledge. We put our faith in those who exhibit knowledge on a given topic or who have official credentials showing they have training and experience in a given field.
Proven trustworthiness. We put our faith in people whom we have observed to be trustworthy, or who others have recommended to us as being trustworthy.
Demonstration of love or affection toward us. We put our faith in those who have shown us care and concern and have treated us well.
Faith, therefore, is not something where we park our brains at the door and blindly follow whomever or whatever. Faith is reasonable and logical and embodies understanding.
The next question Emilee Danielson tackled was, “Why do you believe what you believe?” She went on to say that where one looks for answers is important in determining why one believes as one does. It is important to look in the right places for answers to a particular question. For example, science cannot answer philosophical or religious questions. For answers regarding a mathematical problem, one would not go to a literary source. For answers on how to reach a certain destination, one would not go to a doctor.
Some other points Emilee made were that:
Everyone is free to make assumptions, but that doesn’t make their assumptions correct.
Titles and degrees don’t guarantee correctness of assumptions, or their superior validity over other assumptions.
Some things can only be revealed to us by the creator (for example, the creator of a story, or a song, a building, whatever).
She went on to discuss Genesis 3:1-6, in which Satan plants doubts in the mind of Eve as to what God’s instructions were regarding eating the forbidden fruit and the consequences of doing so. His lie to her was that there would be no consequences for disobeying God, and also that wisdom and knowledge could be gained outside of God’s word. He played to her desire for the forbidden fruit and what eating it would supposedly gain her and Adam, and she fell for his lie. And the world has been a mess ever since.
The third question Emilee considered was “Does what you believe matter?”
The answer is, “Yes!” She pointed out that we should not believe everything we hear; we need to be discerning and seek out what is really true on a matter.
Emilee also made the point that people will always live out what they believe, but not necessarily what they profess. (This is a good point to remember; just because someone claims to be a Christian does not mean they are. Talk is cheap, but actions and attitudes speak volumes.)
Emilee then went on to state that “Good science is always in agreement with the Bible.” She then showed some examples to back up her claim:
Hebrews 11:3—-“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.”
Scientific fact—Atoms cannot be seen by the naked eye. And later it was discovered that the atom consists of even smaller parts. (Molecules are also invisible to the naked eye.)
Leviticus 17:11—“For the life of a creature is in the blood….”
Scientific fact—Blood is the source of life and health.
Ecclesiastes 1:6—“The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.”
Scientific fact—The wind follows the jet stream.
Isaiah 40:22—“He sits enthroned upon the circle of the earth…”
Scientific fact—-The earth is a sphere.
Emilee went on to say that scientists are not perfect and make mistakes just like anyone else. They make erroneous conclusions, and later discoveries often nullify earlier assumptions.
God alone perfectly fulfills reasons to put our faith in Him; He has proven over the generations that He is faithful and loving, and many have testified to that fact over time. (And, I would add, since He is the Creator, He is the One who set the laws of science in motion in the first place; good science truly will line up with Biblical teaching.)
Emilee ended her presentation with the following scripture:
“Do not set God’s Word aside in your quest for answers.” Jeremiah 33:2-3. And to that I would add another scripture: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding.” Psalm 111:10.
Resources: First-person account of the Facts or Fiction Conference, September 25, 2010. All Scripture quotes from the New International Version of the Holy Bible.