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Herman Bavinck

The
CERTAINTY
]v
FAITH

`NVQRVN"`bRcc
ct7"Pqtxqrynus5"]ntqryo5"Pqnqtq
First published in Dutch as De zekerheid des geloofs.
Translated by Harry der Nederlanden.

Translation and special content copyright 1980 by Paideia


Press Inc. © All rights reserved. Published by Paideia / Premier,
P.O. Box 1450, St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7J8. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form without the written permission of the
publisher.

ISBN 0-88815-081-4
Printed in Canada.
Table of Contents
1.The Loss of Certainty 7

2.What Is Certainty? 11
Science and Religious Truth 14
The Task of Theology 17
The Certainty of Faith 19
Testimony as the Basis of Certainty 23
The Power of Certainty 28

3.The Search for Certainty 31


Certainty in Non-Christian Religions 32
Certainty in Roman Catholicism 35
Certainty in the Reformation 38
Certainty in Orthodoxy and Pietism 41
Reactions to Pietism 45
Greater Uncertainty 49

4.The Way to Certainty 51


Scientific Demonstrations 53
Insufficiency of Proofs 60
The Liberal Solution 64
Experience as the Ground of Certainty 66
The Failure of Experience 69
The Appeal of the Gospel 73
Faith as Ethical Choice 77
Faith and the Word of God 81
The Dimensions of Certainty 84
Certainty a Danger? 87
The Confirmation of the Sacraments 89
The Fruits of Certainty 90
:7"dxu"Yoss"ov"Purtqynty

The centuries preceding the French Revolution


(1789) are in many ways different from the epoch
that followed. The radical change of direction in-
troduced into the life and thought of the nations by
this tremendous event shattered the continuity of
history. We can project ourselves into the thought
and life of those preceding ages only with great dif-
ficulty. They were the ages of authority and objec-
tivity, whereas in our era the subject proclaims its
freedom and asserts its rights in every area of
human existence.
Admittedly, by taking its starting point in faith,
the Reformation dealt a stunning blow to the
authority that had previously encompassed all of
life. In the Reformation the believing subject arose
against the oppressive authority of the infallible
church and boldly shook off the painful yoke of an
old tradition. Nevertheless, in the principles of the
Reformation, Christians remained bound to God's
Word as it came to them in the Old and New
Testaments. And in the protestant church the
7
8 The Certainty of Faith

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txqt"puop}u"rqru}y"tourtut"yt—not"uvun"yn"txuyr
xuqrt7"dxuru"wqs"vqytx"qnt"txuru"wqs"surtqynty7"[o
onu"vu}t"txu"nuut"vor"qn"ynquyry"ynto"txu"vynq}"wrount
ov"vqytx5"ynto"txu"tuupust"vountqtyons"ov"surtqynty7
`uop}u"wuru"sonvynsut"txuy"possussut"txu"trutx5
qnt"no"onu"quustyonut"txu"wrytynws"on"wxysx"txu
vqytx"wqs"wrountut7"Vn"ty—us"ov"vytq}"ru}ywyous"}yvu
you"ton0t"tourtynw}y"uxq—ynu"txu"vountqtyons"ov
your"xopu7"iou"spuq{"qs"onu"xqvynw"qutxoryty"qnt
not"}y{u"txu"`xqrysuus7
Nvtur"txu"—ytt}u"ov"txu"uywxtuuntx"suntury"txys
sytuqtyon"wrqtuq}}y"sxqnwut7"dxu"surzust"sq—u"ynto
yts"own7"Vt"rusq—u"qwqru"ov"yts"truu"or"prusu—ut
rywxts"qnt"s}ow}y"rro{u"q}}"txu"tyus"ryntynw"yt"to"txu
pqst7"Vn"qn"un}y—ytut"sunsu"ov"vruuto—"yt"u—qn6
sypqtut"ytsu}v"vro—"uvurytxynw"txu"pqst"xu}t"sqsrut7
N}}"qutxoryty"txqt"tu—qntut"rusownytyon"qnt
orutyunsu"xqt"to"qnswur"vyrst"txu"vountqtyonq}
quustyonG"Oy"wxqt"rywxt"to"you"tu—qnt"—y
orutyunsuL"Prytysq}"ruqson"xqt"ruun"qwq{unut5
}qunsxynw"qn"ynquyry"ynto"txu"wrount"ov"q}}
qutxoryty7"[qyvu5"sy—p}u5"sxy}t}y{u"vqytx"q}}"rut
vqnysxut7
Qourt"xqs"now"ruso—u"txu"sys{nuss"ov"our"sun6
tury5"rrynwynw"wytx"yt"q"strynw"ov"—orq}"pror}u—s
qnt"p}qwuus7"[owqtqys5"—qny"puop}u"tq{u"ynto"qs6
sount"on}y"wxqt"txuy"sqn"suuH"txuy"tuyvy"—qttur5
worsxyp"Zq——on5"or"w}oryvy"powur7"dxu"nu—rur"ov
txosu"wxo"sty}}"uttur"qn"untquntut"tusty—ony"ov
txuyr"vqytx"wytx"zoyvu}"untxusyqs—"qnt"so—p}utu"sur6
The Loss of Certainty 9

tqynty"ys"so—pqrqtyvu}y"s—q}}7"Sq—y}yus5"wunurq6
tyons5"wroups5"qnt"s}qssus"xqvu"turnut"qwqy"vro—
q}}"qutxoryty"qnt"rro{un"wytx"txuyr"vqytx7"Rvun
q—onw"txosu"wxo"sty}}"sq}}"txu—su}vus"ru}yuvurs5
xow"—qny"—ust"ssruw"up"txuyr"sourqwu"ynto"q"vorsut5
unnqturq}"ru}yuvL"Uow"—qny"ru}yuvu"qs"q"rusu}t
ov"xqryt5"}qzynuss"or"}qs{"ov"spyrytL"Uow"—qny"qst
out"ov"qn"unxuq}txy"qttu—pt"to"rusovur"txu"pqst"or
out"ov"q"—ys}uqtynw"sonsurvqtys—L"dxuru"ys"—usx
noysu"qnt"—ovu—unt5"rut"}ytt}u"wunuynu"spyryt5"}ytt}u
wunuynu"untxusyqs—"yssuynw"vro—"qn"uprywxt5"vur6
vunt5"synsuru"vqytx7
[owxuru"ys"txys"—oru"truu"txqn"q—onw
txuo}owyqns7"dxuy"qru"txu"—ost"tourtynw5
vqsy}}qtynw"wroup"ov"q}}7"dxuy"xqvu"p}unty"ov
quustyons5"tourts"qnt"srytysys—"to"ovvur7"Out"wxqt
wu"uxpust"vro—"txu—"—oru"txqn"vro—"qnyonu"u}su—
unyty"ov"out}oo{5"sonsystunsy"ov"—utxot5"surtqynty
ov"vqytx5"uqwurnuss"to"wyvu"qn"qssount"ov"txu"xopu
wytxyn"txu——vor"txusu"trqyts"wu"ovtun"}oo{"yn"vqyn7
dxys"pxuno—unon"ys"not"sonvynut"to"q"vuw
txuo}owysq}"ssxoo}sH"yt"tousxus"q}}"pqrtyus"wxo"ton0t
rury"txuyr"xuqts"yn"txu"sqnt"rut"pqrtysypqtu"yn"txu
wruqt"rqtt}u"ov"txu"spyryts7"dxu"quustyon"ruwqrtynw
txu"rywxts"ov"vqytx"qnt"txu"wrount"ov"surtqynty"ys"txu
to—ynqtynw"quustyon5"not"zust"yn"prqstysq}"}yvu"rut
q}so"yn"unyvursytyus7"dxu"—oru"txu"Pxrystyqn"vqytx
rutruqts"vro—"tuq}ynw"wytx"uvury"possyr}u"quustyon5
rustrystynw"yts"1—qturyq}2"sontunt5"qnt"txu"—oru"yt
qpp}yus"ytsu}v"to"ruy}tynw"q"ryworous"vountqtyon5
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10 The Certainty of Faith

principles, the more it will become inwardly weak


,

and divided. Those seeking direction in this area are


met by a motley array of options and opinions.
Nevertheless, it is vital to faith and to the life of
faith to study the area of basic principles very
closely, because the questions raised here are of
fundamental importance to everyone. There is no
more important question than the one concerning
the ground of our faith, the certainty of our
salvation, the rootedness of our hope in eternal life.
What good is knowledge, power, fame and honor if
we cannot answer the question about our only com-
fort?
Thus, our area of inquiry is circumscribed as .holy
ground, for it must be entered with reverence and
fear. Here we touch the most intimate depths of the
human heart. Here more than anywhere else we
need a childlike and humble spirit, but at the same
time a frank, unbiased attitude, in order to under-
stand the life of religion in its inner essence and to
purge it of all untruth and error. Wisdom and care
dictate that in pointing out the way to obtain the
certainty of faith, we first consider what this cer-
tainty of faith is and the different ways men have
sought it.
2. What Is Certainty?

The question regarding certainty of faith is not


only of scientific, theological but also of practical,
religious importance. It is of concern not only to the
theologian but also to the layman. It belongs not
only in the study but also in the living room. It is
not just a theoretical, academic issue but
preeminently one of life and practice.
No matter how wicked and fallen anyone may be,
at sometime in his life he will encounter moments of
passionate seriousness. Everyone is at some time
seized by the mystery of life, the power of death, the
dread of judgment or the fear of the Lord. As one
observer put it: "Happiness leads us into paganism,
but suffering leads us to Christ." When the drunken
stupor in which we often live wears off, when the
happy glow dulls and the conscience awakens, when
we are overcome by the mystery of life or the pain of
suffering, then we all become conscious of death and
the grave, of judgment and eternity. Then no one
can maintain indifference or hide behind the shield
of neutrality. In this respect, people are better than
11
12 The Certainty of Faith

we are sometimes inclined to think. There are no


atheists, no people without a heart or conscience. Or
more precisely, God never leaves Himself without a
witness. Whether it be through blessings or
through trials, He speaks to the conscience of each
and every person.
True, many seek to stifle this voice and sear their
consciences with a cauterizing iron. And many have
doubtlessly become very adept, persisting in their
false assurance or disdainful indifference unto
their deathbeds. But history also gives us incon-
testable evidence that the human has not been ex-
tinguished even in the most hardened sinner; the
voice of the almighty and omnipresent God sets up
a responsive chord somewhere deep in the heart.
"There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the
wicked" (Isa. 48:22).
By nature, each of us spoils this peace. No one
stands blameless before the accusation of his con-
science. No one is in himself assured that things will
go well in life and later in death. The assurance of
salvation is not something you can inherit; no one is
born with it. Neither is it the fruit of human effort
nor a reward for duties conscientiously performed.
We seek it in vain in the treasures of this earth,
in life's joys, in the praise of the masses, in the fame
of scholarship, in the acclaim of the arts, or in
anything here below.
In order to live comforted and die happily, we
need certainty about the invisible and eternal
things above. We must know what we are and where
W hat Is Certainty? 13

we are going. We must know that our personhood is


more than a ripple in the ocean, that the moral bat-
tle stands far above the natural order, and that the
highest and purest ideals of the soul are not
illusions but reality. We must know how we can be
liberated from the accusations of our conscience and
from the weight of sin. We must know that God is
and that He is our God. We must be sure we are
reconciled to Him and can therefore approach death
and judgment without terror. In all this, our
greatest need is for certainty. It is the deepest,
although often unconscious, need of the human
soul.
Mankind has sought for certainty all through the
ages, although along the wrong roads and with the
wrong methods. Every religion, no matter how
distorted, seeks for the highest and holiest known
to man. Every religion is born out of and sustained
by the desire for eternal survival. Believers value
their religion above all other blessings. Every
genuine follower holds his religion as the central and
only unconditional necessity. To him religion is
life in its deepest essence. Religion is the only way
for persons to attain what they desire for this life
and the next. Whatever is considered the most real,
the highest, the truest kind of life is the content and
subject of religion. In religion we assure ourselves
of our unconditional and enduring existence.
14 The Certainty of Faith

csyunsu"qnt"bu}ywyous"drutx
gxun"sonvrontut"ry"}yvu0s"tuupust"pror}u—s5
ssyunsu"xqs"ovtun"tq{un"q"stqnsu"txqt"sonv}ysts"wytx
txu"suryousnuss"ov"txusu"pror}u—s7"dxys"ys"unwortxy
ov"ssyunsu"ytsu}v7"csyunsu"ys"ovtun"sontunt"to"sxqrqs6
turyzu"txusu"quustyons"qs"y—portqnt"vor"}ussur" —un
qnt"vor"txu"unsopxystysqtut"rut"ov"no"sywnyvysqnsu"to
txu"ssyuntyvys"so——unyty7"dxys"ru}yuv5"xowuvur5"ys
notxynw"rut"q"prout"qnt"vqyn"y}}usyon7"Vn"no"wqy"to
wu"wysx"to"ru}ytt}u"txu"wruqt"qsso—p}ysx—unts"ov
—oturn"ssyunsuH"yt"xqs"—qtu"qstountynw"tyssovuryus
qnt"qsxyuvu—unts7"Vt"xqs"unrysxut"qnt"uqsut"xu—qn
uxystunsu"y——uqsurqr}y7"gu"q}}"wrqtuvu}}y"unzoy"txu
{now}utwu"qnt"powur"yt"xqs"wyvun"us"ovur"nqturu7
Out"q}txouwx"yt"—qy"xqvu"q"}ot"to"ovvur"our"sunsus
qnt"our"unturstqntynw5"yt"}uqvus"txu"xuqrt"un6
sqtysvyut7"Vn"txu"xour"ov"suvvurynw"qnt"yn"txu"vqsu"ov
tuqtx5"wxqt"woot"so—us"vro—"txu"sonquust"ov
nqturu5"txu"r}ussynws"ov"syvy}yzqtyon5"txu"tryu—pxs"ov
ssyunsu"qnt"txu"unzoy—unt"ov"txu"qrtsL"gxqt"woot
tous"yt"to"q"—qn"yv"xu"wqyns"txu"wxo}u"wor}t"qnt
}osus"xys"own"sou}L
csyunsu"ys"—ystq{un"yv"yt"pqssus"ry"txusu"suryous
pror}u—s"ov"xu—qn"}yvu"wytx"qn"yntyvvurunt"sxruw7
dxu"sonssyousnuss"ov"woot"qnt"uvy}5"txu"qwqrunuss
ov"syn5"rywxtuousnuss"qnt"zutw—unt5"txu"qssusqtyons
ov"sonssyunsu5"txu"vuqr"ov"tuqtx"qnt"txu"nuut"vor
rusonsy}yqtyon"qru"zust"qs"ruq}"qs"—qttur"qnt"unurwy5
qs"syzu"qnt"nu—rur7"Vn"vqst5"txuy"qru"ruq}ytyus"ov
tru—untous"y—port5"vor"txuy"ru}u"txu"wor}t"qnt
W hat Is Certainty? 15

mankind, life and history. To act as if they don't


exist betrays a lack of love for the truth. To look
down on them with disdain betrays a lack of self-
knowledge. And to dismiss them as outdated
images and foolish delusions demonstrates an ex-
tensive superficiality. If science relegates all these
awesome realities to the realm of dreams, we at
least have the right to ask on what grounds it does
so. We don't simply take science at its word.
If science asserts that there is no God, no good
and no evil, no judgment and no punishment, no
heaven or hell, then let it give us sufficient, incon-
trovertible proof. We should be absolutely sure of
the truth of this denial—so sure that we can con-
fidently live and die by it. At stake is our
irrevocable eternity, so we need firm, unshakable,
divine certainty on this point. Therefore, in this
connection a sharp, unsparing, unrelenting critique
of science is appropriate. Science may say what it
wills about guilt and punishment, death and the af-
terlife, but it cannot ask us to hang eternity on a
flimsy spider web. When our highest interests, our
eternal weal or woe is at stake, we must be satisfied
with nothing less than infallible, divine certainty.
There must be no room for doubt.
But it is not hard to see that science can never of-
fer us such certainty. Science may be right in reject-
ing a scepticism that elevates doubt into a new
dogma, but no part of its vast area of research can
yield us anything more than human and therefore
fallible certainty. This is especially true when it
16 ]qn"Kn{tjrwty"xo"Njrtq

vunturus"ynto"txu"qruq"ov"ru}ywyous"qnt"utxysq}5
pxy}osopxysq}"qnt"supursunsyr}u"trutx7"Sor"txun"yt
y——utyqtu}y"vynts"ytsu}v"qt"otts"wytx"txu"powurvu}
tusty—ony"ov"txu"wxo}u"ov"xu—qnyty"qt"q}}"ty—us"qnt
q}}"p}qsus7"Rvury"xu—qn"sou}"ys"rusut"ry"q
rust}ussnuss"txqt"no"ssyuntyvys"ruqsonynw"sqn
ru—ovu7"dxusu"u}ty—qtu"quustyons"qrysu"yn"txu"xuqrts
ov"rotx"txu"}uqrnut"qnt"txu"un}uqrnut7"dxu"wor}t0s
wruqtust"wunyusus"xqvu"wrust}ut"wytx"txu—H
pxy}osopxy"xqt"yts"stqrt"wytx"txu—5"qnt"txusu
quustyons"wqvu"ryrtx"to"q}}"ru}ywyons7
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wort"uxsuuts"yts"so—putunsu"qnt"powurs"wxun"yt
tryus"to"stuty"qnt"so}vu"txusu"tuupust"ov"xu—qn
pror}u—s7"csyunsu"—qy"xonor"txu"—ystury"ov"ruynw
rut"yt"sqn"nuvur"uxp}qyn"yt7"`rusysu}y"qt"txu"poynt
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to"txu"rywxt5"qrovu"qnt"ru}ow5"ssyunsu"tyssovurs
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surrountut"ry"qn"ynvysyr}u"wor}t"wxysx"yt"sqnnot
untur7"[o"wontur"txqt"txosu"wxo"onsu"}oo{ut"to
ssyunsu"to"sqvu"us"qru"turnynw"qwqy"yn"tysqppoynt6
—unt"to"suu{"yn"qrt"qnt"ytuq}ys—5"yn"txu"tuyvysqtyon"ov
bqjt"Q}"Kn{tjrwtyG"5;

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ru}ywyons"wxqt"ssyunsu"sqnnot"provytu"rut"txuyr
sou}s"nuut7"dxys"on}y"sonvyr—s"txu"trutx"txqt"our
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txuy"xqvu"vount"rust"yn"Uy—7

dxu"dqs{"ov"dxuo}owy
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xu—qn"}yvu7"Vt"xqs"txu"w}oryous"tqs{"not"on}y"ov
sxowynw"us"txu"wqy"txrouwx"rut"q}so"out"ov"txys"}yvu
so"txqt"yn"}yvu0s"vysyssytutus"qnt"yn"txu"xour"ov"our
tuqtx"wu"—qy"xqvu"surtqynty"qrout"txosu"txynws
txqt"qru"vyxut7"Vt"—ust"}uqt"us"to"rust"yn"txu"qr—s"ov
Tot7"N"txuo}owy"—ust"tu—onstrqtu"yts"rywxt"qnt
trutx5"not"on}y"yn"txu"qruq"ov"ssyunsu5"rut"q}so"qnt
—oru"powurvu}}y"q—ytst"txu"qwvu}"ruq}ytyus"ov"}yvu—
qt"txu"sys{rut"qnt"tuqtxrut5"yn"suvvurynw"qnt"wqnt5
yn"tystruss"qnt"tuqtx5"to"txu"wuy}t6}qtun"sonssyunsu
qnt"to"txu"xuqrt"txyrstynw"vor"rusonsy}yqtyon"qnt
puqsu7"Vv"txuo}owy"stqnts"powur}uss"yn"txu"vqsu"ov
txusu"sytuqtyons"qnt"ys"unqr}u"to"provytu"qny"son6
so}qtyon5"txun"yt"ys"unwortxy"ov"yts"p}qsu"q—onw"txu
ssyunsus7
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wxysx"wu"xqvu"wrown"up"qnt"wxysx"xqvu"ruso—u
18 The Certainty of Faith

tuqr"to"us7"Nsytu"vro—"qny"prqstysq}"usu5"trutx
q}wqys"xqs"unturynw"vq}uu7"drutx"ys"q}wqys"}yvu5
q}wqys"suts"us"vruu5"q}wqys"srowns"us"qs"{ynws"to
ru}u"ovur"wxqtuvur"yt"tousxus"wytx"yts"}ywxt7
Ns"q"ssyunsu5"txuo}owy"q}so"ys"surzust"to"txusu
ru}us7"Vt"—qy"not"pros}qy—"qs"trutx"wxqt"sqnnot
survyvu"txu"tust"ov"trutx5"no"—qttur"xow"rysx"yt"—qy
ru"yn"so—vort—vq}su"so—vort—vor"txu"pyous"xuqrt
nourysxut"on"susx"(trutx7("[uvurtxu}uss5"txuru"ys
q}so"q"prqstysq}"sytu"to"txuo}owy"txqt"—q{us"yt"q{yn
to"—utysynu7"dxu"txuorutysq}"{now}utwu"ov"txu"tos6
tor"ys"tourt}uss}y"vury"y—portqnt5"rut"xys"wortx"qnt
txu"wortx"ov"xys"ssyunsu"on}y"so—us"ynto"yts"own
wxun"xu"xuq}s"puop}u7"cy—y}qr}y5"txuo}owy"—ust
prussryru"—utysynu"vor"txu"qy}—unts"ov"txu"sou}7"Vt
—ust"ru"qr}u"to"sqy"xow"qnt"yn"wxqt"wqy"wu"sqn"ru
vruut"vro—"our"wuy}t5"rusonsy}ut"wytx"Tot5"qttqyn"to
pqtyunsu"qnt"xopu"q—ytst"}yvu0s"tryru}qtyons5"qnt
vynt"ruqson"to"synw"prqysus"yn"txu"vqsu"ov"tuqtx7"N
txuo}owy"txqt"tous"not"sonsurn"ytsu}v"wytx"txusu
txynws"qnt"on}y"tutysqtus"ytsu}v"to"srytysq}"qnt
xystorysq}"stutyus"ys"not"wortxy"ov"txu"nq—u
txuo}owy7"Nnt"q"txuo}owyqn"wxo"ys"qsquqyntut"wytx
q}}"txu"}qtust"yssuus"ov"xys"ssyunsu"rut"wxo"stqnts
spuusx}uss"qt"q"sys{rut"qnt"{nows"no"qnswur"to"txu
quustyons"ov"txu"}ost"synnur0s"xuqrt"ysn0t"wortxy"ov
xys"tyt}u"qnt"ovvysu7
N"txuo}owy"provussor"onsu"to}t"—u"txqt"yn"xys
stutunt"tqys"xu"wqs"yntrotusut"to"q}}"sorts"ov"ssyun6
tyvys"yssuus5"rut"wqs"nuvur"wyvun"txu"qnswur"to"onu
quustyonG"Uow"to"V"wut"to"xuqvunL"iut5"txu"qnswur
W hat Is Certainty? 19

to this question provides the church and theology


with their reason for existence. This is what
preaching and family visiting are about. Modern
theology, whose achievements we must not un-
derestimate, did not flounder because of the scien-
tific acumen of its enemies. Its impotence became
evident in practice. It lost in the pulpit and in
family visiting because it had no comfort to offer for
either life or death. Not the school but the church,
not the seminary but the pulpit, not apologetics but
the sickbed and deathbed showed up its poverty.
History and experience show us every day what is
most expected from theology: it must nurture our
certainty of faith. Otherwise, rather than seek help
from an established science that can wax eloquent
about illness but which cannot heal, the sick will
turn to the first quack who comes along.

dxu"Purtqynty"ov"Sqytx

But what must we understand by this certainty of


faith which is so important to theology? Certainty is
not the same as truth, although the two are closely
related. Truth is agreement between thought and
reality and thus expresses a relation between the
contents of our consciousness and the object of our
knowledge. Certainty, however, is not a relationship
but a capacity, a quality, a state of the knowing
subject. One's spirit may assume different states in
reaction to different statements or propositions. If
;9 The Certainty of Faith

yt"{nows"notxynw"wxqtsouvur"qrout"txu"—qttur5"yt
—qy"ru"so—p}utu}y"yntyvvurunt7"Vv"yn"wuywxynw"txu
pros"qnt"sons"yt"sqn"so—u"to"no"tusysyon"ruwqrtynw
txu"trutx"or"vq}syty"ov"txu"—qttur5"yt"—qy"ru"sqst"yn"q
stqtu"ov"tourt7"Vv"vor"wxqtuvur"ruqson"yt"}uqns"—oru
onu"wqy"txqn"qnotxur5"yt"—qy"vynt"ytsu}v"yn"vqryous
stqtus"ov"opynyon5"sur—ysu5"or"trust7"Out"yt"sqn"q}so
qsxyuvu"q"stqtu"ov" complete certainty with regard to
so—u"stqtu—unt7"Purtqynty"uxysts"wxun"txu"spyryt
vynts"so—p}utu"rust"yn"yts"orzust"ov"{now}utwu7
Rqsx"ov"our"vqsu}tyus"vynts"rust"yn"wxqt"yt"ry
nqturu"stryvus"towqrt7"dxu"wy}}"vynts"so—p}utu"rust
on}y"yn"txu"wootH"our"sunsyry}yty"yn"txu"ruqutyvu}7
co"txu"—ynt"or"spyryt"rusts"on}y"yn"txu"truu—txqt
ys5"—oru"provount}y"sonsuyvut5"on}y"yn"Tot5"wxo
Uy—su}v"ys"txu"trutx7"Rrror"qnt"}yus5"txuruvoru5"tyrust6
}y"sonv}yst"wytx"txu"orywynq}"nqturu"ov"txu"spyryt7
Rvun"yn"q"vq}}un"stqtu"txu"spyryt"xonors"txu"}yu"on}y
untur"txu"su—r}qnsu"ov"trutx7"]n}y"txu"trutx
sqtysvyus"qnt"qnswurs"to"txu"nuut"ov"txu"spyryt7"dxuru
yt"vynts"rust7"Purtqynty"ys"rust5"puqsu5"r}ussutnuss5
wxy}u"tourt5"sur—ysu"qnt"opynyon"q}wqys"ynvo}vu"q
surtqyn"tuwruu"ov"tysso—vort"qnt"unuqsynuss7"Pur6
tqynty"ys"txu"nor—q}"qnt"nqturq}"sontytyon"ov"txu
spyryt"qs"xuq}tx"ys"ov"txu"roty7
dxuruvoru5"uvun"txu"suqrsx"vor"trutx"ys"ruqutyvu}
qnt"q"prusyous"wyvt7"Out"uvun"—oru"ruqutyvu}"qnt
prusyous"ys"vyntynw"yt5"unzoyynw"yt"qnt"wq}{ynw"yn"yts
}ywxt7"Qourt5"on"txu"otxur"xqnt5"ys"nuvur"txu"truu
sontytyon"ov"—qn5"rut"ys"qrnor—q}5"}y{u"tysuqsu7
co—uty—us5"tuu"to"txu"urror"qnt"}yus"txqt"rusut"our
bqjt"Q}"Kn{tjrwtyG" ;:

}yvus5"tourt"ys"nusussqry5"zust"qs"q"vuvur"—qy"ru
woot"vor"txu"roty"qnt"q"txunturstor—"woot"vor"txu
qt—ospxuru7"Out"yn"ytsu}v"yt"ys"q}wqys"q"pqynvu}"uvy}7
Uu"wxo"tourts"ys"}y{u"q"wqvu"on"txu"suq5"rut"xu"wxo
ru}yuvus"ys"}y{u"q"ros{7
dxuru"qru5"xowuvur5"tyvvurunt"{ynts"ov"surtqynty7
dxu"Truu{"pxy}osopxurs"q}ruqty"tystynwuysxut"ru6
twuun"txu"surtqynty"provytut"ry"txu"sunsus"qnt"txqt
provytut"ry"ruqson7"gytxyn"txu"}qttur"ruq}—
Nrystot}u"vurtxur"tystynwuysxut"rutwuun"txu"y—6
—utyqtu"surtqynty"turyvut"vro—"txu"vyrst"prynsyp}us
ov"ssyunsu"qnt"txu"—utyqtut"surtqynty"turyvut"vro—
tu—onstrqtyon"qnt"proov7"dxusu"txruu"{ynts"ov"sur6
tqynty"qru"rusownyzut"ry"q}}"rut"txu"—ost"xqrtunut
ssuptys7"gu"q}}"vuu}"surtqyn"qrout"txu"txynws"wu"sqn
pursuyvu"wytx"txu"sunsus7"[or"to"wu"tourt"txu"—ost
rqsys5"su}v6uvytunt5"untu—onstrqr}u"prynsyp}us"ov"txu
vqryous"ssyunsus5"susx"qs"txu"qxyo—s"on"wxysx
—qtxu—qtyss"ys"rqsut7"cy—y}qr}y5"wu"qru"q}so"so—6
p}utu}y"surtqyn"qrout"txu"trutxs"txqt"yn"ssyunsu"qru
ynvurrut"txrouwx"}owysq}"tutustyon"vro—"qn
ustqr}ysxut"pru—ysu"qnt"wxysx"qru"txuruvoru"rqsut
on"suvvysyunt"proov7
Out"rusytu"txusu"typus"ov"ssyuntyvys"surtqynty
txuru"uxysts"qnotxur"{ynt—txu"surtqynty"ov"vqytx7
`uop}u"—qy"tyvvur"wytu}y"ruwqrtynw"yts"vq}uu5"rut
txqt"yt"uxysts"ys"ruyont"tourt7"Rvun"pxy}osopxy"xqs
xqt"to"tq{u"vqytx"ynto"qssount7"Vt"wqs"V——qnuu}
Xqnt"1:D;A6:E9A2"wxo5"rusytu"u—pyrysq}"qnt"}owysq}
surtqyntyus5"q}so"—qtu"roo—"vor"—orq}"surtqynty
-Onwr}}qnrt.3"dxu"wqy"yn"wxysx"Xqnt"qsso—p}ysxut
22 The Certainty of Faith

this is not our way, but we may be thankful to


philosophy that through one of its most perceptive
thinkers it has recognized the existence and rights
of another form of certainty than the strictly scien-
tific.
One would, indeed, have to deliberately blind
oneself to doubt the reality of such certainty, for in
the area of religion and morals no one bases his cer-
tainty on scientific proof. No one maintains the
existence of God, the immortality of the soul, the
mediatorship of Christ, the authority of Scripture
and many other beliefs on the basis of rational
argument. People seem to carry within them the
knowledge that science may not and cannot have a
say in such matters. All higher religions, therefore,
claim to be based on revelation, and none of them is
the product solely of rational understanding. Proofs
come after the fact in every religion; they don't lead
the way but trail behind. They are conceived for
those who don't believe.
When speaking with an unbeliever, a believer can-
not be content to assert: I believe and therefore it is
true. He must seek grounds, not for his own faith,
but to make it more acceptable to the outsider, to
silence criticism, and remove all excuses for un-
belief. Apologetics is the fruit, never the root, of
faith. The arguments by which the apologist seeks
to promulgate and confirm his faith are often rather
flimsy. If it had to rest on these arguments, it would
be built on a very weak foundation. But it is rooted
much deeper than in these after-the-fact reasonings.
bqjt"Q}"Kn{tjrwtyG" ;?

gu"to"not"ortqyn"qnt"—qyntqyn"our"tuupust"sonvys6
tyons5"our"wor}t"qnt"}yvu"vyuw5"ry"wqy"ov"ssyuntyvys
tu—onstrqtyon7"dxusu"qru"not"q"protust"ov"untur6
stqntynw"or"ov"txu"wy}}7"dxusu"ru}yuvs"qru"}osqtut
tuupur5"yn"txu"tuptxs"ov"txu"sou}5"yn"txu"xuqrt7"dxuy
qru"pqrt"ov"—qn"xy—su}vH"txuy"qru5"qs"yt"wuru5"pqrt"ov
xys"ussunsuH"txuy"j{n"xy—5"qs"xu"wqs"rorn5"rqysut"qnt
—o}tut"yn"q"pqrtysu}qr"unvyron—unt7"W7"T7"Sysxtu
1:DC;6:E:A2"sqyt"txqt"txu"pxy}osopxy"q"—qn"sxoosus
tutur—ynus"wxqt"{ynt"ov"—qn"xu"wy}}"ru7"dxu"sxqpu
ov"onu0s"txouwxt"ys"ovtun"notxynw"—oru"txqn"txu
xystory"ov"xys"xuqrt7

dusty—ony"qs"txu"Oqsys"ov"Purtqynty
dxys"surtqynty5"q}ruqty"—orq}"yn"txu"wytur"sunsu"ov
txu"wort5"sqn"ruttur"ru"sq}}ut"txu"surtqynty"ov"vqytx7
Out"xow"tous"yt"orywynqtuL"Qous"q"—qn"syt"town
qnt5"ruv}ustynw"on"xys"—orq}"nqturu5"postu}qtu"so—u
qrstrqst"tow—qsL"]v"soursu"not7"[or—q}}y"surtqyn6
ty"ov"vqytx"ys"rorn"yn"sxy}txoot5"wxun"onu0s"son6
ssyousnuss"txrouwx"vqytx"qtopts"txu"—orq}"qnt
ru}ywyous"sonsupts"rusownyzut"qs"qutxorytqtyvu"ry"q
spusyvys"so——unyty7"N"sxy}t"txun"ytuntyvyus"yts"u}ty6
—qtu"wu}}6ruynw"wytx"txusu"sonsupts7
dxys"surtqynty"ov"vqytx"tyvvurs"yn"two"ruspusts"vro—
txqt"turyvut"vro—"orsurvqtyon"qnt"txouwxt7"fyuwut
orzustyvu}y5"txu"}qttur"qppuqrs"stronwur7"csyuntyvys
surtqynty"rusts"on"wrounts"vq}yt"vor"q}}"rqtyonq}
ruynwsH"yts"tupuntqry}yty"sqn"ru"tu—onstrqtut"to
24 The Certainty of Faith

qny"sruqturu"untowut"wytx"ruqson7"dxu"wunuynu
rusu}ts"ov"ssyunsu"xqvu"q"powur"to"so—pu}"our
ruqson7"Nnyonu"wxo"ysn0t"sonvynsut"ry"ssyuntyvys
proov"sqsts"tourts"on"xys"sqnyty7
dxys"ys"not"txu"sqsu5"xowuvur5"wytx"surtqynty"yn
ru}ywyon"or"utxyss7"Wust"qs"vqytx"sqnnot"ru"untur6
—ynut"ry"ssyuntyvys"qrwu—unt5"yt"sqnnot"ru"sonvyn6
synw}y"ustqr}ysxut"ry"yt7"Vt"q}wqys"rusts"on
ruvu}qtyon5"qutxoryty5"q"tyvynu"wort5"wxutxur"truu"or
prusu—ut5"qnt"ys"txuruvoru"q}wqys"on}y"q"vruyt"ov
vqytx5"q"vqytx"txqt—vor"wxqtuvur"ruqson—rusownyzus
txys"qutxoryty"qnt"rows"ruvoru"yt"yn"orutyunsu7"Vn
txys"ruspust"ssyuntyvys"surtqynty"ys"qstuq}}y"—oru
unyvursq}"qnt"stronwur"txqn"txu"surtqynty"qsquyrut
txrouwx"vqytx7
[uvurtxu}uss5"txu"{ynt"ov"surtqynty"txqt"ys"vq}yt
qnt"qppropryqtu"yn"ssyunsu"ys"wxo}}y"ynqtuquqtu"yn
ru}ywyon7"csyuntyvys"surtqynty5"no"—qttur"xow"stronw
qnt"vyxut5"q}wqys"ru—qyns"rqsut"on"xu—qn
qrwu—unt"qnt"sqn5"txuruvoru5"q}wqys"ru"ovurturnut
ry"vurtxur"qnt"ruttur"ynvustywqtyon7"cusx"q"tourt6
vu}5"vq}}yr}u"surtqynty"ys"ynsuvvysyunt"yn"txu"qruq"ov
ru}ywyon7"Uuru"wu"nuut"qn"ynvq}}yr}u5"tyvynu"surtqynty5
onu"txqt"trqnssunts"q}}"xu—qn"tourt"qnt"sqn"nuvur
}ut"us"town7"gu"sqn"sount"on"yt"vor"ty—u"qnt"utur6
nyty7"Ousytus5"ssyuntyvys"surtqynty"trqnsvurrut"to"txu
to—qyn"ov"ru}ywyon"wou}t"—q{u"ru}ywyon"q"6—qttur"ov
ruqson7"dxys"wou}t"tu—qnt"q"}uvu}"ov"yntu}}ustuq}
tuvu}op—unt"possussut"ry"on}y"q"vuw7"Vt"wou}t
—q{u"us"surzust"to"q"ssyuntyvys"xyurqrsxy"yn"our"—ost
pursonq}"sonsurns—q"xyurqrsxy"txqt"wou}t"uxsuut
W hat Is Certainty? 25

pru6buvor—qtyon"bo—u"yn"ynto}urqnsu"qnt"tyrqnny7
Sruuto—"ov"sonssyunsu"wou}t"suqsu"to"uxyst7
cusx"ssyuntyvys"surtqynty"y—portut"ynto"spyrytuq}
}yvu"wou}t"u}ty—qtu}y"protusu"txu"opposytu"ov"wxqt
ru}ywyon"ry"nqturu"qnt"ry"uvuryonu0s"sonvystyon
ouwxt"to"ru7"bu}ywyon"ys"yn"txu"vyrst"p}qsu"vqytxG"txqt
ys5"xu—y}yty5"trust5"tupuntunsu5"orutyunsu5"sy—6
p}ysyty"qnt"sxy}t}y{unuss7"Out"yn"ru}ywyon5"ssyuntyvys
surtqynty"wou}t"unwuntur"prytu"ynstuqt"ov"xu—y}yty5
yntu}}ustuq}ys—"ynstuqt"ov"sy—p}ysyty"ov"xuqrt5"qnt
su}v6u}uvqtyon"ynstuqt"ov"sxy}t}y{unuss7"Xnow}utwu
puvvs"up"rut"}ovu"utyvyus7"dxuruvoru"wu"sxou}t"not
so—p}qyn"rut"ru"wrqtuvu}"txqt"rusytus"txu"ssyuntyvys5
txuru"ys"qnotxur"vor—"ov"surtqynty5"nq—u}y5"txu"sur6
tqynty"ov"vqytx5"wxysx"tous"not"tupunt"on"vq}}yr}u
xu—qn"ynsywxt"rut"on"unsxq{qr}u"tyvynu"qutxoryty7
Vv"uvuryonu"qssuptut"susx"tyvynu"qutxoryty"yn
ru}ywyon"qnt"txuru"sou}t"ru"no"tourt"qrout"wxuru
qnt"xow"yt"wqs"to"ru"vount5"txun"no"onu"sou}t"ruzust
qs"unru}yqr}u"qnt"unsurtqyn"txu"{now}utwu"qsquyrut
ry"vqytx"vro—"susx"qn"ynvq}}yr}u"tusty—ony7"Purtqyn}y
no"onu"orzusts"txqt"q"}qrwu"pqrt"ov"our"{now}utwu
rusts"upon"txu"tusty—ony"ov"otxurs"qnt"sqn5
txuruvoru5"on}y"ru"ortqynut"ry"wqy"ov"vqytx7"Sqytx
sqn"ru"sonsuyvut"ov"yn"qn"uvun"rroqtur"sunsu"so"txqt
yt"yns}utus"our"trust"yn"txu"tusty—ony"ov"our"own
sonssyousnuss7"dxun"txu"qssu—ptyons"qnt"pryn6
syp}us"ov"ssyunsu"qs"q"wxo}u"qnt"ov"txu"pqrtysu}qr
ssyunsus"sqn"xqvu"surtqynty"vor"us"on}y"on"txu"rqsys
ov"vqytx7"dxqt"our"sunsu"pursuptyon"ys"ru}yqr}u5"txqt
txu"outsytu"wor}t"xqs"qn"orzustyvu"uxystunsu5"txqt
26 The Certainty of Faith

the laws of thought correspond with those of being


and that the so-called axioms are the firm foun-
dation for all knowledge—these and many other
postulates cannot be proven but are established by
the immediate testimony of our consciousness prior
to all proof. Anyone who refuses to proceed on this
basis blocks his own way to the truth and falls vic-
tim to doubt.
But also in the narrower and truer sense of the
word, faith as trust in another's testimony assumes
an important role in science. Every man, even the
most learned, is limited in his gifts and energies, in
time and place. What he can investigate freely and
independently for himself makes up only a tiny part
of the boundless domain of science. He owes by far
the largest part of his knowledge to the in-
vestigation of others, and he accepts their
testimony on trust as being true. Even more
significantly, beside the natural sciences, which are
built on observation, there is the science of history,
which has no choice but to build on testimonies
regarding the past. Although they remain subject
to criticism, these testimonies always require a
large degree of trust on the historian's part. Anyone
who demands mathematical or experimental proof
in history is forced to challenge its scientific nature
and will never achieve any degree of certainty.
There is no science without personal trust and
faith in the testimony of others. Therefore, just
because religion and theology don't rest on personal
observation but on divine testimony and can only
What Is Certainty? 27
be established for us by faith, this does not in itself
prove anything about their truth. Why should the
knowledge we gain from the testimony of others be
of less value than that gained from our own in-
vestigation? The same limitations that plague
others also expose us to all kinds of mistakes and
errors. Everything depends on whether the persons
on whose testimony we rely are trustworthy and
dependable. If so, then the knowledge we gain on
their authority may possess more truth than what
we gain from our own fallible observation.
Since in religion not a fallible human being but
God Himself steps forward as a witness, then from
this point of view there is no science more certain of
its subject matter than theology. Its basis and
strength consists in the Deus dixit, so says the
Lord. What human authority can be compared to
that of the Almighty? And on whose word can man
rely more fully with mind and heart, in suffering
and death, for time and eternity, than the testimony
of Him who is Himself the truth?
Given the existence of a divine authority, the
problem in religion is not that it deserves our faith
and trust. Everyone would concede this in the ab-
stract. The problem comes as soon as we ask where
this divine authority is to be found and how it may
be recognized, for then mankind becomes endlessly
divided. In the history of mankind numerous
religions have appeared alongside and after one
another, each one claiming to be the truth. Even
within the same religion, adherents are divided
28 The Certainty of Faith

qrout"txu"nqturu"qnt"qutxoryty5"txu"sontunt"qnt
ssopu"ov"ruvu}qtyon7"dxys"—qy"not5"xowuvur5"}uqt"us
to"tourt"wxutxur"trutx"sqn"ru"vount7"Sor"to"so
tourt"wou}t"to"vyo}unsu"to"our"rqtyonq}"qnt"—orq}
nqturu5"wxysx"sqn"nuvur"ussqpu"txu"y—pqst"ov"Tot0s
—qzusty7"Out"yt"sxou}t"ynsty}}"yn"us"q"tuup"xu—y}yty
qnt"qn"xonust"tusyru"to"suu{"txu"trutx"on}y"wxuru"yt
—qy"ru"found by a blinded, erring humanity.
The quustyon"ruwqrtynw"txu"surtqynty"ov"vqytx5
txuruvoru5"ruso—us"two6vo}t7"Vt"sqn"ru"qttrussut"to
txu"trutx"ov"txu"ru}ywyon"wu"ouwxt"to"sonvuss5"or"to
our"pursonq}"sxqru"yn"txu"sq}vqtyon"pro—ysut"ry"txqt
ru}ywyon7"dxuru"ys"q"surtqynty"txqt"purtqyns"to"orzus6
tyvu"ru}ywyous"trutx"qnt"q"surtqynty"txqt"purtqyns"to
txu"surzust0s"sxqru"yn"txu"runuvyts"pro—ysut"ry"txqt
trutx7"dxu"two"{ynts"ov"surtqynty"qru"tourt}uss}y
vury"s}osu}y"yntursonnustut5"rut"txuy"sxou}t5"nuvur6
txu}uss5"ru"tystynwuysxut"qnt"not"sonvusut7"dxu"qst
ov"vqytx"ry"wxysx"V"rusownyzu"txu"trutx"tyvvurs"vro—
txu"onu"ry"wxysx"V"q—"qssurut"ov"—y"own"sq}vqtyon7

dxu"`owur"ov"Purtqynty
gxy}u"ssyuntyvys"surtqynty"rusts"on"rqtyonq}"qnt
txuruvoru"—oru"unyvursq}"wrount"txqn"txu"surtqynty
ov"vqytx5"txu"}qttur"vqr"outstryps"txu"vyrst"yn"surzus6
tyvu"powur—txqt"ys5"yn"txu"strunwtx"ov"txu"tyu"ry
wxysx"txu"sou}"u—rrqsus"yts"orzust"yn"vqytx7"]nsu"q
tusty—ony"xqs"ruun"rusownyzut"qnt"qssuptut"qs
tyvynu5"orvyous}y"yt"rynts"qnt"ru}us"—qn"—oru
bqjt"Q}"Kn{tjrwtyG" ;F

powurvu}}y"txqn"qny"otxur"wort7"dxu"sonvystyons"ov
vqytx"qru"txu"tuupust5"txu"—ost"ynty—qtu5"txu"tuqrust
qnt"qt"txu"sq—u"ty—u"txu"—ost"tunqsyous"ov"q}}7"[o
wqrs"qru"—oru"turryr}u"txqn"txosu"vouwxt"vor
ru}ywyon7"[o"wruqtur"xqtu"uxysts"txqn"txqt"qrousut
ry"ru}ywyon7"Out"q}so"no"tuvotyon5"no"so——yt—unt5
no"su}v6tunyq}5"no"}ovu5"no"vqytxvu}nuss5"no"pqtyunsu5
no"vyrtuus"yn"wunurq}"qru"qs"—qrvu}ous}y"rysx"qnt
sur}y—u"qs"txosu"txqt"r}osso—"vortx"vro—"q"}yvu"ov
vu}}owsxyp"wytx"Tot7
Sqytx5"to"nq—u"on}y"onu"ov"txusu"vyrtuus5"sounts
yts"—qrtyrs"yn"txu"txousqnts5"uvun"yn"txu"—y}}yons7
csyunsu"xqs"rut"q"vuw7"dxu"vq—ous"Woxqnn"Xup}ur
1:BD:6:C?92"prqstysut"qstro}owy"sontrqry"to"xys"son6
vystyons"yn"ortur"to"—q{u"q"}yvynw7"Uu"uxsusut"xys
sontust"wytx"txu"ru—qr{"txqt"txu"nuuty"—otxur
1qstrono—y2"wou}t"xqvu"to"}yvu"ovv"txu"voo}ysx
tquwxtur"1qstro}owy27"dxruu"ty—us"Tq}y}uo"1:BCA6
:CA;2"rusqntut"xys"ssyuntyvys"sonvystyons"qrout"txu
Popurnysqn"systu—"ruvoru"txu"Vnquysytyon7"Uys"vuqr
ov"uxusutyon"wqs"wruqtur"txqn"xys"}ovu"ov"ssyunsu7
gxo"wqnts"to"tyu"vor"txu"proposytyon"txqt"txu"uqrtx
turnsL"e}ty—qtu}y"yt"—q{us"vury"}ytt}u"tyvvurunsu"qnt
sqn"q}wqys"ru"sorrustut"}qtur7"gxo"wy}}"put"xys
possussyons5"xys"nq—u5"qnt"xys"}yvu"on"txu"}ynu"vorq
puru}y"txuorutysq}"trutxL"csyuntyvys"surtqynty"sqn0t
stqnt"up"to"txu"torsx"qnt"stq{u7
Out"txu"surtqynty"ov"vqytx"ys"—usx"tyvvurunt7"Vt
possussus"vqr"wruqtur"yntunsytyH"yt"ys"ynurqtysqr}u5
rusqusu"yt"ys"rootut"yn"txu"xu—qn"xuqrt"qnt"ynvo}vus
uvury"vyrru"ov"our"uxystunsu7"Vv"q"purson"ys"opposut
30 The Certainty of Faith

to you on the basis of principle, he is almost im-


possible to convince otherwise; in fact, it is im-
possible to reason with him. A man's religion
always rules him, even in the most nonpartisan
study. It is at the basis of all differences that divide
mankind.
Therefore, the true believer considers nothing too
costly for the preservation of faith, whether it be
the rack, the branding iron, the cross or the stake. It
is more precious than home and country, than
spouse and children, than one's own life, than the
whole world. For he who loses his faith, loses him-
self, his soul, his eternal salvation. But he who
keeps his faith also keeps himself even if he should
lose his life.
The certainty of faith is therefore the most per-
fect rest, the highest freedom of the spirit. It doubts
not. It is heroic and fearless, though there be as
many devils as shingles on the roof. Faith fears God
alone and no one else. It is even more certain of it-
self than of the sun shining in the sky. It can doubt
everything except itself. And with at least as much
right as Descartes posited his cogito ergo sum (I
think therefore I am), the believer posits credo, ergo
sum, ergo Deus est (I believe, therefore I am,
therefore God is).
3. The Search for Certainty

Ousqusu"surtqynty"ov"vqytx"ys"ov"susx"wruqt"vq}uu
qnt"sywnyvysqnsu5"yt"ys"not"surprysynw"txqt"—qn{ynt
xqs"q}wqys"souwxt"yt7"gytxout"txys"xuqrt0s"rust5"—qn
}qs{ut"puqsu"ov"sou}7"Uu"tryut"to"qsxyuvu"surtqynty"yn
—qny"wqys7"[o"sqsryvysu"wqs"too"wruqt5"no"punysx6
—unt"too"suvuru5"no"}yvu"too"vq}uqr}u7"Uu"tryut"to"or6
tqyn"yt"ry"orsurvynw"}qws"qnt"rytuq}s5"wytx"r}ooty
qnt"unr}ooty"sqsryvysus5"txrouwx"ssourwynw"qnt
{y}}ynw"txu"v}usx5"qnt"yn"wy}t"orwyus"qs"wu}}"qs
ryworous"qssutysys—7
dxu"xystory"ov"ru}ywyon"ruvuq}s"susx"provount5
qwuso—u"struww}us"qnt"suvvurynws"txqt"nqturq}
tysqsturs5"sosyq}"ruvo}utyons5"qnt"wqrs"pq}u"yn"so—6
pqryson7"Rvury"pqwu"ov"txys"ynnur"xystory"tu}}s"us"ov
tuqrs5"sywxs5"prqyurs5"p}uqs5"struww}us"qnt"tu—p6
tqtyons7"ensurtqynty5"tourt5"vuqr5"turror"qnt
qnxyuty"uqt"qt"txu"xuqrt"qnt"}yvu"ov"uvury"purson7"dxu
xy—ns"ov"q}}"nqtyons"qru"vy}}ut"wytx"—ovynw"}q—un6
tqtyons7"dxu"vuty}yty"ov"txu"wor}t"qnt"}yvu"xqs"ruun
uxprussut"yn"txu"—ost"u}oquunt"tonus7"dxu"wruqtust
qnt"nor}ust"ov"txu"xu—qn"rqsu"xqvu"ruun"surzust"to
txu"—ost"vuqrvu}"ynnur"struww}us7
64
32 The Certainty of Faith

co—u"ov"txu"—ost"ruqutyvu}"poutry"q}so"truw"yts
surzust"—qttur"vro—"txys"suvvurynw7"`xy}osopxy"wqs
rorn"vro—"ponturynw"txu"rytt}u"ov"tuqtx7"dxu"orywyn
qnt"woq}"ov"txu"qrts"qnt"ssyunsus"ys"to"—q{u"}yvu
uqsyur"to"ruqr7"Nnt"ru}ywyon"tq{un"qs"q"wxo}u"ys"onu
wywqntys"qttu—pt"to"support"—qn5"wytx"txu"xu}p"ov
txu"Quyty5"yn"txu"vuqrso—u"struww}u"qwqynst"xqrsx5
unru}untynw"nqturu7"dxu"tuvotuus"ov"p}uqsuru"qnt
sunsuq}yty"qs"wu}}"qs"qrtysts"qnt"ssyuntysts"ovtun"xytu
txuyr"nqwwynw"qnxyuty"ruxynt"q"—qs{"ov"yntyvvurunsu7
dxrouwx"p}uqsuru"qnt"wor{"txuy"suu{"tyvursyon
vro—"txu"unrust"yn"txuyr"sou}s7"dxusu"qru"—uqns"to
ussqpu"txu"u—ptynuss"ov"txuyr"uxystunsu"qnt"txu"qs6
susynw"voysu"ov"sonssyunsu—yn"q"wort5"txu—su}vus7
O}qysu"`qssq}"1:C;?6C;2"spo{u"txu"trutx"wxun"xu" }jrm
txqt"txu"su—"totq}"ov"q}}"qstyvyty"qnt"rusynuss5"txu
tyvursyons"qnt"p}uqsurus"wu"orsurvu"yn"—qn{ynt
(qrysus"vro—"onu"synw}u"vqst5"txqt"txuy"sqnnot"stqy
quyut}y"yn"txuyr"own"sxq—rur("1:?F27

Purtqynty"yn"[on Pxrystyqn"bu}ywyons
-

N}txouwx"yt"ys"q"tu—ptqtyon5"wu"sqnnot"possyr}y
uxq—ynu"qnt"zutwu"txu"vqryous"ru}ywyons"vro—"txys
poynt"ov"vyuw5"xowuvur"rryuv}y7"Out"onu"pxuno—unon
tous"tusurvu"our"qttuntyon5"yv"on}y"yn"pqssynw7"Pur6
tqynty"ruwqrtynw"onu0s"own"stqtu"qnt"vuturu"ys"not
unyquu"to"PxrystyqnytyH"yt"q}so"ossurs"yn"otxur
ru}ywyons7"dxu"rqsys"—oot"ov"xuqtxun"ru}ywyon"wqs
tourt}uss}y"ty—yt5"qnxyous"vuqr" -{nurprx1"mnr}rmjr2
The Search for Certainty 33

monia). Outside of redemption in Jesus Christ, q}}


men live in fear of death, in servitude, without God and
without hope. Nevertheless, the heathen world produces
not only voices of fear, but also of trust and repose.
All religious faiths have inspired martyrs, those
who testified with their blood. One famous example
is Socrates (c. 469-399 B.C.). In 399 B.C. he was
charged in Athens for deviating from the state
religion, for importing new gods and for perverting
the youth with his teachings. In the speech he made
in his defense he held that he had seen his whole life
as a service to the deity. If the judges wished to
pardon him on the condition that he give up his
vocation—the teaching of philosophy—he would
have to refuse, choosing to obey God rather than
man. He was not afraid of death but of doing
something unholy and unrighteous. So he went into
death confidently, knowing that he was going to the
gods and was being set free from life's troubles.
With imperturbable composure he then drank the
cup of hemlock and died as a martyr to his faith.
This example would be easy to support with many
others. They all teach that certainty is not the same
as truth. Truth always brings certainty, but cer-
tainty is no proof of truth. The human spirit can
find false rest in an error presumed to be the truth.
We like to believe in what we wish were true. Cer-
tainty in itself, however, does not set one free. Only
the truth can free man from the servitude of sin and
death. If the Son has made you free, you shall be
free indeed.
34 The Certainty of Faith

[uvurtxu}uss5"txusu"uxq—p}us"ov"stuqtvqst"trust
sxou}t"sxq—u"us"Pxrystyqns"wxo"xqvu"rusuyvut"q
—usx"wruqtur"wrqsu"qnt"—qy"wq}{"yn"q"—usx
rrywxtur"}ywxt7"Pxrystunto—"tous"not"q}wqys
prusunt"q"—oru"qttrqstyvu"pysturu"yn"txys"ruspust7"gu
qru"not"txyn{ynw"xuru"ov"no—ynq}"Pxrystyqns"wxo"}yvu
on"wytxout"q"sqru5"vorsuvu}}y"ruprussynw"qny
txouwxts"qrout"tuqtx"qnt"uturnyty7"[or"qru"wu
txyn{ynw"ov"txosu"—oturnystys"—ovu—unts"txqt"xqvu
sprunw"up"wytxyn"xystorysq}"Pxrystyqnyty"wxysx
ruzust"q}}"spusyq}"ruvu}qtyon"qnt"txurury"ror"vqytx"ov
yts"orywynq}"—uqnynw"qnt"yts"suntrq}"p}qsu"yn"txu"}yvu
ov"txu"ru}yuvur7"Vn"txusu"—ovu—unts"onu"sqn"no
}onwur"spuq{"ov"txu"surtqynty"ov"trutx"qnt5"txus5"not
ov"txu"surtqynty"ov"sq}vqtyon"uytxur7"dxusu"puop}u
—qy"sur—ysu5"wuuss5"txyn{5"uvun"xopu"txqt"q}}"wy}}"wo
wu}}"wytx"txu—"yn"txys"}yvu"qnt"txu"nuxt5"qnt"txuy
—qy"tqru"to"tyu"yn"txqt"xopu7"dxuy"—qy"uvun"ru"qr}u
to"—ustur"qn"uquqny—yty"txqt"tous"not"vqy}"txu—
uvun"yn"txu"xour"ov"tuqtx7"Out"txu"s}uqr"son6
ssyousnuss"txqt"txuy"qru"txu"Yort0s"rotx"yn"}yvu"qnt
yn"tuqtxH"txu"unsxq{qr}u"sonvystyon"txqt5"rusqusu
txuy"}ovu"Tot"qnt"xqvu"ruun"sq}}ut"qssortynw"to"Uys
wy}}5"q}}"txynws"wy}}"wor{"towutxur"vor"txuyr"wootH
txu"stuqtvqst"qssurqnsu"ov"txu"xopu"ov"uturnq}"}yvuH
ruzoysynw"yn"pursusutyon"qnt"yn"txu"vqsu"ov"tuqtx—
txusu"you"wy}}"not"vynt"q—onw"txu—7"dxuyr"sonws"qru
vy}}ut"wytx"tourt5"—u}qnsxo}y"qnt"xopu5"rut"qru
tuvoyt"ov"ro}t5"untxusyqstys"vqytx7
gu"—ust"qt—yt5"xowuvur5"txqt"uvun"txosu"wxo
wunuynu}y"qssupt"Tot0s"spusyq}"ruvu}qtyon"to"not
The Search for Certainty 35

always possess certainty of faith. Often we find


doubt instead of faith, care instead of steadfast
trust, complaints instead of enthusiasm and praise.
Those who are assured of their share in Christ and
who rejoice in the hope of the glory of the children of
God are few indeed.

Purtqynty"yn"bo—qn"Pqtxo}ysys—

The Roman Catholic Church, following St.


Augustine (354-430), even denies the possibility
that a Christian can be sure of his eternal salvation
apart from a few exceptions and then only by a
special revelation from God. The certainty at-
tainable by keeping the decrees of the church is, and
remains, nothing more than an opinion, a surmise,
an opinio conjecturalis. No matter how much it may
seem so, this certainty can never become an un-
shakable conviction, a complete, ineradicable cer-
tainty. There is no room for such in Rome's system,
for it does not see salvation as assured in Christ and
sealed in the heart of the believer by the testimony
of the Holy Spirit. Salvation depends on good works
and as such is always only conditional. The Roman
Catholic Church never allows the Christian to
become independent and to stand on his own feet. It
never sets him loose but always retains a hold on
him, even years after his death in purgatory. The
church alone can open and close the gates to
heaven.
36 The Certainty of Faith

Vn"Pqtxo}ysys—5"txuruvoru5"txu"Pxrystyqn"vqytx"tous
not"turn"on"txu"quustyonG"Uow"to"V"{now"txqt"V
tru}y"ru}yuvu"qnt"xow"sqn"V"ru"suru"ov"—y"sq}vqtyonL
Vt"sonsuntrqtus"on"q"—usx"tyvvurunt"quustyon5
nq—u}yG"Uow"to"V"{uup"txu"tusruus"ov"txu"sxursx
qnt"xow5"qssortynw"to"yts"zutw—unt"qnt"pronounsu6
—unt5"to"V"uqrn"uturnq}"}yvuL"Ns"}onw"qs"txu"}qy—qn
tous"wxqt"txu"church says, he need not worry; the
sxursx"tq{us"sqru"ov"txu"rust7"Out"yn"xys"qttu—pt"to
wyn"uturnq}"}yvu"ry"woot"wor{s"txu"Pqtxo}ys
Pxrystyqn"sqn"tq{u"onu"ov"two"tyrustyons7"Uu"sqn
—q{u"yt"vury"uqsy"on"xy—su}v"qnt5"yv"not"yn"txuory
yut"yn"prqstysu5"xu"sqn"qs{"xy—su}vG"Uow"}ytt}u"sqn"V
wut"ry"wytxL"Uu"sqn"q}so"tq{u"uturnq}"}yvu"suryous}y
qnt"tu—qnt"vro—"xy—su}v"q"stryst"orsurvqnsu"ov"q}}
txu"sxursx"tu—qnts5"qnt"uvun"vurtxur5"so—pu}"xy—6
su}v"to"to"—oru"txqn"ys"ruquyrut7
Ns"q"rusu}t5"yn"Pqtxo}ysys—"txuru"qru"q}wqys"two
{ynts"ov"PxrystyqnsG"txosu"wxo"ossqsyonq}}y"wo"to
sonvussyon"qnt"—qss5"orsurvu"txu"ruquyrut"vqsts"qnt
vor"txu"rust"}yvu"quytu"q"supurvysyq}5"sqruvruu"}yvu5
trustynw"yn"txu"sxursx"vor"txuyr"sq}vqtyonH"qnt"txosu
wxo"qru"tyssqtysvyut"wytx"susx"uxturnq}ytyus"qnt"qt6
tu—pt"to"}yvu"q"puru}y"ru}ywyous"}yvu"txrouwx
—ystysys—"qnt"qssutysys—5"yn"supqrqtyon"vro—"txu
wor}t"qnt"tunyq}"ov"txu"v}usx5"txus"to"so—u"ruvoru
txu"vqsu"ov"Tot7
Sqr"ru"yt"vro—"us"to"y——utyqtu}y"tunounsu"txu"}qt6
tur"wytx"txu"protustqnt"zutw—unt"txqt"synsu"susx
pyuty"yssuus"vro—"q"vq}su"prynsyp}u—rywxtuousnuss
ry"wor{s—yt"ys"txuruvoru"wortx}uss"to"Tot7"Sor"no
The Search for Certainty 37

—qttur"xow"—usx"trutx"txqt"zutw—unt"—qy"sontqyn5
ruvoru"wu"uttur"yt"wu"—ust"ru—ynt"oursu}vus"txqt
txu"Pqtxo}ys"rywxtuousnuss"ry"woot"wor{s"ys"vqst}y
pruvurqr}u"to"q"protustqnt"rywxtuousnuss"ry"woot
tostrynu7"Nt"}uqst"rywxtuousnuss"ry"woot"wor{s
runuvyts"onu0s"nuywxror5"wxuruqs"rywxtuousnuss"ry
woot"tostrynu"on}y"protusus"}ovu}ussnuss"qnt"prytu7
Surtxur—oru5"wu"—ust"not"r}ynt"oursu}vus"to"txu
tru—untous"vqytx5"wunuynu"rupuntqnsu5"so—p}utu
surruntur"qnt"txu"vurvunt"}ovu"vor"Tot"qnt"nuywxror
uvytunt"yn"txu"}yvus"qnt"wor{"ov"—qny"Pqtxo}ys
Pxrystyqns7"dxu"Pxrystyqn"}yvu"ys"so"rysx"txqt"yt
tuvu}ops"to"yts"vu}}"w}ory"not"zust"yn"q"synw}u"vor—"or
wytxyn"txu"wq}}s"ov"onu"sxursx7
[uvurtxu}uss5"Pqtxo}ys"pyuty5"uvun"yn"yts"rust
vor—5"ys"tyvvurunt"yn"sxqrqstur"vro—"txqt"ov
protustqntys—7"Vt"q}wqys"ru—qyns"unvruu5"unu—qn6
sypqtut5"vor—q}5"}uwq}ystys7"Po—p}utu"ynnur"surtqynty
ov"vqytx"ys"}qs{ynw7"Vt"q}wqys"}uqvus"roo—"vor"txu
quustyonG"Uqvu"V"tonu"unouwx5"qnt"wxqt"u}su"sxou}t
V"toL"bo—u"tu}yrurqtu}y"{uups"txu"sou}s"ov"ru}yuvurs
yn"q"rust}uss5"so6sq}}ut"xuq}txy"tunsyon7"cpyrytuq}"}yvu
v}ustuqtus"rutwuun"vq}su"qssurqnsu"qnt"pqynvu}"un6
surtqynty7"Pqtxo}ysys—"tous"not"unturstqnt"txu
wort"ov"Uo}y"csrypturu"txqt"txu"cpyryt"tustyvyus"wytx
our"spyryt"txqt"wu"qru"sxy}trun"ov"Tot"qnt"txqt"q}}
wxo"qru"}ut"ry"txu"cpyryt"ov"Tot"qru"sons"ov"Tot7
38 The Certainty of Faith

Purtqynty"yn"txu"buvor—qtyon

The Reformation, however, brought about many


changes. This powerful movement was born out of a
deeply felt need for the assurance of salvation. In
vain, Martin Luther (1483-1546) sought it in good
works. He found assurance in God's free grace, in
the sinner's justification by faith alone. When he
had discovered this treasure, Luther stood up
against the entire Christendom of his time with
heroic boldness. His faith was so firmly anchored
and his hope so sure that with them he dared stand
alone before all his opponents. God was for him;
who could be against him? Certainty was a charac-
teristic not only of Luther's faith but also of the
faith of all the Reformers.
This is not to say they never experienced temp-
tations and struggles; it is wrong to suppose they
always rose above all doubt. They all passed
through periods of fearful anxiety and deep
discouragement. Notwithstanding his great faith,
Luther often had terrible struggles with the devil
and with reason. Frequently he had doubts about
the rightness and blessedness of his reforming
labors. Philipp Mélanchthon (1497 1560), too, was
-

often oppressed in spirit. John Calvin (1509-1564)


testifies, no doubt from his own experience, that •a
believer can harbor many doubts and cares. But the
difference between the Reformers and their later
disciples was that they did not foster or feed such a
condition. They saw no good in it and were not con-
The Search for Certainty 39

tunt"to"ru—qyn"yn"tourt7"dxuy"struww}ut"to"so—u"out
ov"tourt"qnt"txuy"ruwwut"to"ru"vruut"vro—"yt7"dxu
buvor—urs"rosu"qrovu"yt"ry"txu"powur"ov"vqytx7"[ot
tourt"qnt"vuqr5"rut"stuqtvqstnuss"qnt"surtqynty"wqs
txu"nor—q}"sontytyon"ov"txuyr"spyrytuq}"}yvus7
dxuyr"sourqwu"wqs"rootut"yn"xu—y}yty5"txuyr"su}v6
qssurqnsu"yn"trust"yn"Tot5"txuyr"vruuto—"qnt"yn6
tupuntunsu"yn"sxy}t}y{u"tupuntunsu"on"Uys"wrqsu
q}onu7"dxuyr"u—otyons"tyt"not"ru}u"txuyr"ruqson5
wxy}u"ruqson" jwm"wy}}"tyt"not"tuny"txu"rywxts"ov"txuyr
u—otyons7"dxuyr"xqnts"wuru"nuvur"yt}u7"Uuqt5"xuqrt
qnt"xqnts"wor{ut"towutxur"yn"uxsuptyonq}"xqr—ony7
dxuy"wuru"not"pyutysts"wytx"on}y"qn"uyu"qnt"xuqrt
vor"txu"ru}ywyous"}yvu7"dxuy"wuru"not"—ystyss"wxo
rutruqtut"ynto"yso}qtyon"qnt"}uvt"txu"wor}t"to"yts"vqtu7
dxuy"wuru"not"yntu}}ustuq}ysts"qnt"—orq}ysts"wxo"vqy}ut
to"to"zustysu"to"txu"rysxnuss"ov"u—otyonq}"}yvu7
Quspytu"tyvvurunsus"yn"yns}ynqtyon"qnt"sxqrqstur5"txu
buvor—urs"wuru"q}}"ov"q"tuup}y"ru}ywyous"nqturu7
[uvurtxu}uss5"or"purxqps"prusysu}y"vor"txys"ruqson5
txuy"{upt"txuyr"uyus"opun"to"txu"nuuts"ov"vq—y}y5
sosyutq}5"usono—ys"qnt"po}ytysq}"}yvu7"N}}"unnqturq}5
unxuq}txy"pyutys—"wqs"voruywn"to"txu—7"dxuyr
ru}ywyous"}yvus"wuru"sount"qt"xuqrt—s}uqr"qnt"p}qyn5
yut"pqssyonqtu"qnt"tuup7
dxuyr"pyuty"xqt"q"—usx"tyvvurunt"vqsu"txqn"txqt"ov
bo—u7"dxuy"unturstoot"txu"ussunsu"ov"Pxrystyqnyty
yn"q"wxo}}y"nuw"qnt"orywynq}"wqy7"buturnynw"to"txu
ruvrusxynw5"}yvynw"soursu"ov"csrypturu5"txuy"truw
vro—"yt"q"spyryt"qnt"powur"txqt"sxqnwut"txu
topowrqpxy"ov"Pxrystyqn"Ruropu7"Vt"wqs"txu"pyuty"ov
A9 ]qn"Kn{tjrwty"xo"Njrtq

txu"psq}—ysts5"txu"propxuts"qnt"txu"qpost}us"txqt
qwqyn"}yvut"yn"txu—"qnt"spo{u"txrouwx"txuyr"worts7
dxuy"wuru"y—ytqtors"ov"Pxryst"wxo5"txouwx"Tot0s
con5"rusq—u"txu"con"ov"Zqn5"qnt"sountut"notxynw
xu—qn"strqnwu"to"Uy—7
dxuyr"tussryptyon"ov"txu"vqytx"q}so"qnswurs"to"txys
stqntqrt7"gytx"txu—"vqytx"ys"not"xopu"qnt"opynyon5
not"wuuss"qnt"sonzusturu5"not"uvun"{now}utwu"qnt
qssunt5"rut"surtqyn"{now}utwu"qnt"vyr—"trust5"q"son6
ssyousnuss"qnt"sonvystyon"so"stronw"qnt"vynq}"yt"ux6
s}utus"q}}"tourt"qnt"vuqr7"Wust"}ystun"to"txu"xu—r}u
rut"qt"txu"sq—u"ty—u"ro}t"}qnwuqwu"yn"txu
Pnrmnukn{p"Kjtnlqr}v"ov"txu"Pxrystyqn"wxo"wyvus"qn
qssount"ov"txu"xopu"txqt"ys"wytxyn"xy—7"Uu"ys"vyr—}y
qssurut"txqt"xu"ys"q"}yvynw"—u—rur"ov"Wusus0"sxursx
qnt"txqt"xu"wy}}"uturnq}}y"ru—qyn"so7"Uu"}yvus"yn"txu
sxy}t}y{u"trust"txqt"not"on}y"otxurs"rut"xu"pur6
sonq}}y"xqs"ruun"vorwyvun"qnt"wrqntut"uturnq}
rywxtuousnuss"qnt"sq}vqtyon"ry"Tot"out"ov"puru
wrqsu5"qnt"on}y"on"txu"—uryts"ov"Pxryst7
Vn"txys"sonvussyon"txu"Pxrystyqn"xqs"rusuyvut"q
voysu7"Uu"stqnts"yn"txu"vruuto—"ov"txu"sxy}trun"ov
Tot7"Tot0s"cpyryt"tustyvyus"wytx"xys"spyryt"txqt"xu"ys
q"sxy}t"ov"Tot7"Uu"ru}yuvus"qnt"txuruvoru"xu"sqn
spuq{7"Uuru"txu"Pxrystyqn"}yvu"xqs"wqynut"yts"yn6
tupuntunsu7"Vt"ys"tupuntunt"on"no"otxur"sruqturuH"yt
ys"rount"on}y"to"Tot"qnt"Uys"gort7"Uuru"vqytx"vynts
notxynw"qnt"no"onu"yn"txu"wor}t5"on}y"Tot7
]qn"[nj{lq"ox{"Kn{tjrwty A:

Certainty in Orthodoxy and Pietism

dxys"zoyvu}"notu"usxout"on"ynto"txu"ty—u"ov"txu
Pqnons"ov"Qortt7"Out"txun"wrqtuq}}y"yt"wuq{unut5
qnt"unsurtqynty"qnt"vuqr"unturut"txu"}qnwuqwu"ov
vqytx7"dxu"vqytx"ov"txu"syxtuuntx"suntury"rusq—u"txu
ortxotoxy"ov"txu"suvuntuuntx7"`uop}u"no"}onwur"son6
vussut"txuyr"ru}yuvs5"rut"txuy"on}y"ru}yuvut"txuyr
sonvussyons7"N—onw"—ost"ov"txu"puop}u"txys"or6
txotoxy"prupqrut"txu"roqt"vor"rqtyonq}ys—7"bu}ywyon
rusq—u"q"—qttur"ov"ruqson5"txu"trutx"ruwqrtynw
uturnq}"txynws"wqs"now"tupuntunt"on"xystorysq}
proovs"qnt"rqtyonq}"qrwu—unt5"qnt"txu"surtqynty"ov
vqytx"rusq—u"sonvusut"wytx"rqtyonq}"ynsywxt7"]n"txu
otxur"xqnt5"wytxyn"txu"s—q}}"syrs}us"ov"txu"vqytxvu}"yt
uvo{ut"qnotxur"ruqstyonH"txuy"wuru"not"sqtysvyut
wytx"—uru}y"rqtyonq}"{now}utwu"rut"souwxt"txu
ussunsu"ov"sq}vqtyon"yn"uxpuryunsu7"dxys"—ovu—unt
wrqtuq}}y"tuvo}vut"ynto"pyutys—7
Ns"—oru"qnt"—oru"puop}u"wytx"wunuynu"vqytx"sqw
txu"rqstqrtyzut"vor—s"ov"xystorys"qnt"tu—porq}"vqytx
tuvu}opynw5"txuy"ruwqn"to"}osu"txuyr"own"surtqynty
qnt"ru}yuv7"dxuru"xqt"to"ru"qn"ussuntyq}"tyvvurunsu
rutwuun"txusu"tyvvurunt"vqytxs5"q"tyvvurunsu"}y{u"txqt
rutwuun"}yvu"qnt"tuqtx5"rutwuun"wunuynu"trust"yn
Tot0s"wrqsu"yn"Pxryst"qnt"puru}y"rqtyonq}"qssunt"to
trutx7"Out"txuru"wqs"q"wruqt"rys{"ov"sonvusyon5"su}v6
tusuptyon5"qnt"vq}su"susuryty7"do"poynt"out"txu"tyv6
vurunsu"rutwuun"truu"qnt"vq}su"wrqsu5"rutwuun"txu
rorn6qwqyn"qt"txuyr"worst"qnt"txu"otxurs"qt"txuyr
rust"wqs"q"tyvvysu}t5"uxqstynw"tqs{7"Nssortynw}y5"txu
42 The Certainty of Faith

ru}yuvur"wqs"pro—ptut"to"turn"ynwqrt"yn"ortur"to
qssuru"xy—su}v"qrout"txu"ruq}yty"ov"xys"own"vqytx7
Vn"txys"su}v6uxq—ynqtyon"xu"wqs"soon"wuytut"ry
txu"—utytqtyonq}"wor{s"ov"tuvotyonq}"wryturs7"dxuy
trqsut"txu"}yvu"ov"txu"sou}"vro—"yts"—ost"ynty—qtu
ruwynnynws5"qnq}yzynw"yts"—ost"xyttun"—otyons5"qnt
tussryrynw"yt"yn"q"}onw"suryus"ov"surt}u"rut"ovtun"son6
vusynw"sywns7"[uvur"ruvoru"or"synsu"xqs"txu"xyttun
}yvu"ov"vu}}owsxyp"wytx"Tot"ruun"stutyut"—oru"tuup}y
qnt"uqrnust}y7
Nrwuynw"qwqynst"txu"so}t"ortxotoxy"ov"txuyr"ty—u5
txuy"sqyt"txqt"{nowynw"ys"not"unouwxH"ruq}"vqytx"ys
uxpuryunsu7"Vt"ysn0t"unouwx"to"xuqr"txu"to—qyn"ov
spyrytuq}"txynws"tussryrut"ry"otxursH"onu"—ust"xqvu
suun"yt"wytx"onu0s"own"uyus7"do"tq}{"qrout"txu
tysuqsu"}y{u"q"{now}utwuqr}u"tostor"tousn0t"—uqn
—usxH"onu"—ust"xqvu"uxpuryunsut"txu"tysuqsu"qs
wu}}"qs"txu"xuq}ynw7"dxu"vyrst"ys"—uru"so}t5"xystorysq}
wort6{now}utwu7"]n}y"txrouwx"uxpuryunsu"tous"onu
vyrst"unturstqnt"txu"trutx7"Rxpuryunsu"tyssovurs"yn
txu"worts"ov"csrypturu"qn"untyru}y"nuw"spyrytuq}
—uqnynwH"yt"sxows"us"q"trutx"ruxynt"txu"trutx5"not
rusqusu"yt"wqnts"to"sqy"so—utxynw"u}su5"rut"ru6
squsu"wu"xqvu"txun"uxpuryunsut"qnt"runuvytut"vro—
yt"yn"our"xuqrts7
Trqtuq}}y"txu"}yst"ov"ruquysytu"uxpuryunsus"on
xuqvun0s"wqy"wqs"uxpqntut7"Vt"ruwqn"wytx"q"tuup
vuu}ynw"ov"—ysury5"q"pqynvu}"uxpuryunsu"ov"wuy}t5"qnt"q
vqtq}"txunturro}t"vro—"txu"cynqytys"}qw7"Nnyonu"wxo
xqs"not"xuqrt"txu"zutw—unt"ov"too—"pros}qy—ut"ry
txu"}qw"xqs"no"nuut"vor"txu"wospu}0s"tus}qrqtyon"ov
The Search for Certainty 43

pqrton7"dxu"sys{5"not"txu"xuq}txy5"nuut"txu"Truqt
Uuq}ur7"Wusus"sq—u"to"sq}}"txu"synnurs5"not"txu
rywxtuous5"to"rupuntqnsu7"Ou}yuvynw"pqrunts5"rqp6
tys—5"Pxrystyqn"nurturu5"sonvussyon"ov"vqytx5"txu
Yort0s"cuppur—txusu"to"not"—q{u"susx"qn"ux6
puryunsu"supurv}uous7"Vnstuqt"ov"unsxrynynw"txu
notyon"txqt"txosu"so"r}ussut"qru"yns}utut"yn"Tot0s
wrqsu5"txuy"sxou}t"survu"qs"wqrnynws"so"wu"to"not
tusuyvu"oursu}vus5"qs"—qny"to5"qrout"uturnyty7
Rvuryonu5"yns}utynw"sovunqnt"sxy}trun5"—ust"pqss
txrouwx"txu"zutw—unt"ov"Tot0s"}qw"to"{now"xy—su}v
yn"xys"}ost"stqtu"qnt"to"}uqrn"wytx"txu"pur}ysqn"to"sry
vor"wrqsu"out"ov"txu"tuptxs"ov"—ysury7
cusx"q"vuu}ynw"ov"}ostnuss"—qy"}qst"q"}onw"ty—u"or
on}y"q"sxort"wxy}u7"Rvun"yv"q"rqy"ov"}ywxt"punutrqtus
to"txu"sou}5"opunynw"txu"uyus"to"rutu—ptyon"yn"Pxryst
Wusus5"onu"—qy"not"y——utyqtu}y"ru}yuvu"qnt"txrow
onusu}v"on"txu"pro—ysus"ov"Tot5"vor"txys"ynsurs"txu
tqnwur"ov"q"prusu—ut5"sto}un"vqytx5"qnt"sto}un"woots
to"not"prospur7"Syrst"txu"rywxt"qnt"sourqwu"to
ru}yuvu"xqs"to"ru"wyvun"ry"Tot7"co"q}}"sorts"ov
spyrytuq}"prupqrqtyon"xqt"to"prusutu"txu"qst"ov"u—6
rrqsynw"Tot0s"pro—ysus"yn"vqytx7
Sqytx"wqs"not"y——utyqtu}y"surtqyn"ov"ytsu}v"rywxt
vro—"txu"ruwynnynw7"dxuru"wqs"q"tyvvurunsu"rutwuun
txu"ussunsu"qnt"txu"wu}}6ruynw"ov"vqytx5"rutwuun"q
sxu}tur6suu{ynw"trust"qnt"qn"qssurut"trust7"dxu"vyrst
yuqrs"ov"vqytx"wuru"vu}}"ov"sywxynw"qnt"}q—untqtyon5
prqyynw"qnt"xopynw7"Purtqynty"wqs"qttqynut"on}y"qv6
tur"q"suryus"ov"uxpuryunsus"spruqt"ovur"—qny"yuqrs7
Vt"wqs"not"wyvun"wytx"vqytx"ytsu}v5"nor"tyt"yt"yssuu
AA" ]qn"Kn{tjrwty"xo"Njrtq

vro—"yt7"Purtqynty"wqs"ovtun"qttut"vro—"txu"outsytu5
—usxqnysq}}y5"ry"spusyq}"ruvu}qtyons7"co—uty—us"yt
ossurrut"txrouwx"txu"suttun"yntrusyon"ov"so—u"Oyr}u
pqssqwu7"]r"txu"sou}"—ywxt"suttun}y"ru"ynuntqtut
ry"q"w}oryous"}ywxt5"pro—ptynw"txu"ru}yuvur"to"sqy
wytx"WqsorG"V"xqvu"suun"txu"Yort"vqsu6to6vqsu"qnt
—y"sou}"ys"sqvut7"]ssqsyonq}}y"txu"Yort"Wusus
showed Himself directly to the seeking soul qnt
vy}}ut"yt"wytx"xuqvun}y"zoy7"]r"txu"ru}yuvur"—ywxt5
}y{u"`qu}5"ru"trqwn"up"ynto"txu"txyrt"xuqvun"qnt"}ut
ynto"txu"ynnur"sxq—rur"ry"txu"Xynw7"]n}y"txun"xqt
xu"qttqynut"txu"xywxust"runw"ov"vqytx5"qnt"q"p}qsu
q—onw"txu"ustqr}ysxut5"qssurut"ru}yuvurs7
Out"vuw"uvur"—qtu"yt"txys"vqr7"Zost"sontynuut"to
stu—r}u"vorwqrt"q}onw"}yvu0s"wqy"yn"sywxynw"qnt
}q—untqtyon7"dxuy"wuru"q"poor5"wrutsxut"puop}u
q}wqys"pruossupyut"wytx"txuyr"own"—ysury5"su}to—"yv
uvur"ruzoysynw"yn"txu"rutu—ptyon"txqt"wqs"txuyrs"yn
Pxryst"Wusus"qnt"nuvur"so—ynw"to"q"}yvu"ov"zoy"qnt
wrqtytutu7"dxuy"pruvurrut"to"ru"qttrussut"qs
Ntq—0s"po}}utut"ovvsprynw5"qs"synnurs"untur"Tot0s
zutw—untH"txuy"truw"so—vort"vro—"txu"pro—ysus
Tot"wqvu"to"txu"wor—"Wqsor"qnt"txu"puop}u"ov
Vsrqu}7
Ousqusu"txuru"wqs"no"}ywxt"qnt"xqppynuss"yn"txuyr
sou}s5"uvurytxynw"qrount"txu—"}oo{ut"tqr{"qnt
w}oo—y"too7"dxuy"spo{u"ov"uqrtx}y"}yvu"qs"q"}yvu"ov
trour}u"qnt"wryuv7"dxu"wor}t"wqs"to"txu—"notxynw
rut"q"vq}u"ov"tuqrs5"q"tusurt5"q"Zusxusx7"dxuy"wou}t
xqvu"pruvurrut"to"wytxtrqw"vro—"yt"so—p}utu}y"qnt
rustryst"txu—su}vus"to"txu"nqrrow"syrs}u"ov"}y{u6
The Search for Certainty 45

—yntut"puop}u7"Sq—y}y"qnt"sosyuty5"ssyunsu"qnt"qrt5
stqtu"qnt"sxursx"wuru"wyvun"up"to"unru}yuv"qnt
ruvo}utyon"qs"wxo}}y"spoy}ut"qnt"unrutuu—qr}u7"dxu
spyrytuq}"}yvus"ov"txusu"puop}u"wuru"nurturut"on}y
txrouwx"s—q}}"wroup"tyssussyons"qnt"ry"ruqtynw"o}t
qutxors7"Sor"txu"rust"txuy"wqytut"quyut}y5"pqtyunt}y
tyssxqrwynw"txuyr"tutyus"unty}"txu"ty—u"wou}t"so—u
to"put"ovv"txys"roty"ov"syn5"or"unty}"txu"swyvt"ruturn
ov"Pxryst7

buqstyons"to"`yutys—

Qurynw"txu"suvuntuuntx"suntury"txu"vqytx"ov"txu
rust"qnt"txu"—ost"pyous"xqt"tuvo}vut"to"txys"}uvu}"yn
q}}"buvor—ut"sxursxus"yn"txu"[utxur}qnts7"Out"txys
sytuqtyon"sou}tn0t"ru"unturut"vor"}onw7"cusx"q
}qrwu}y"vuqrvu}"qnt"yso}qtut"}yvu"sou}tn0t"ru"txu"truu5
so—p}utu"Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon7"dxosu"}q—untqtyons
wurun0t"worsxyp5"txosu"sywxynws"wurun0t"vqytx5"qnt
txqt"wor}t6v}ywxt"wqsn0t"txu"vystory"ovur"txu"wor}t7
Ns"q"rusu}t5"q"wytuspruqt"}onwynw"sprqnw"up"vor
so—utxynw"tyvvurunt5"so—utxynw"ruttur7"fqryous
—ovu—unts"tryut"to"poynt"to"q"ruttur"wqy"to"qsxyuvu
surtqynty7"dxuy"sqn"ru"rutusut"to"two"—qyn"}ynusG
txu"Zorqvyqn"Orutxrun"yn"Yutxurqn"syrs}us"qnt"txu
Zutxotysts"yn"buvor—ut"syrs}us7
dxu"Zorqvyqns"wqntut"to"wyn"sou}s"qnt"}uqt"txu—
to"txuyr"wruqtust"xqppynuss"not"ry"txu"}qw5"rut"ry
txu"wospu}H"not"txrouwx"txuntur"vro—"Zt7"cynqy"rut
txrouwx"txu"}ovynw"voysu"vro—"To}wotxqH"not
46 The Certainty of Faith

txrouwx"txu"sturn"vywuru"ov"Zosus"rut"txrouwx"txu
vryunt}y"vywuru"ov"Wusus7"[y{o}qus"von"jynzuntorv" (1700-
1760) wanted nothing to"to"wytx"txu"so6sq}}ut
Busskampf and Durchkruch 1punytuntyq}"struww}u
qnt"rruq{txrouwx2"ov"txu"pyutysts7"Uu"sq}}ut"txu—
—ysurqr}u"PxrystyqnsH"jynzuntorv"tytn0t"wqnt"q
sywxynw5"}q—untynw"vqytx"rut"q"synwynw5"ruzoysynw
Pxrystyqnyty7"do"rrynw"txys"qrout5"q}}"txqt"wqs
nuutut"wqs"txu"pros}q—qtyon"ov"txu"tuqr"cqvyor7"N
}yvu}y{u"tussryptyon"ov"Uys"unt}uss"}ovu"vor"synnurs
ruvuq}ut"yn"Uys"suvvurynw"qnt"tuqtx5"yn"Uys"r}oot
qnt"wounts5"wou}t"ru"unouwx"to"—q{u"qn"y—6
prussyon"on"txu"rusuptyvu"xuqrt7"Nnt"txys"y—prussyon
ys"txu"sqvynw"wor{"ov"Pxryst5"txu"runuwq}"qnt"y—pqr6
tqtyon"ov"}yvu"txrouwx"Uys"Uo}y"cpyryt7"dxosu"so"qv6
vustut"ry"txu"wospu}"ov"txu"sross"rust"yn"Wusus0
wounts5"untur"ynto"q"—qrryqwu"sovunqnt"wytx"Uy—
qnt"qru"vruut"vro—"txu"wuy}t"qnt"to—ynqtyon"ov"syn7
Sro—"txun"on"txuy"wou}t"}uqt"xqppy5"txqn{vu}5"un6
rurtunut"}yvus5"vut"qnt"strunwtxunut"ry"txu
ru—u—rrqnsu"ov"Wusus0"worts5"ry"q"rysx"su}tus"1wor6
sxyp2"qnt"ry"q"truqsury"ov"u—otyonq}"xy—ns7
Zutxotys—"sxosu"qnotxur"routu7"Ousqusu"txuy
uxpuryunsut"txu"wuy}t"ov"syn"—oru"tuup}y"txqn"tyt
txu"Zorqvyqn"Orutxrun5"txu"Zutxotysts"vu}t"yt"wqs
nusussqry"to"sxos{"txu"sou}"out"ov"yts"vq}su"susuryty7
Sqytx"ouwxt"to"ru"prusutut"ry"q"tuup"sunsu"ov"wuy}t
uvo{ut"ry"pqssyonqtu"spuusxus5"ry"turryvyynw
tussryptyons"ov"tuqtx"qnt"xu}}5"qnt"ry"u—otyonq}5
styrrynw"sonws7"Out"y——utyqtu}y"txuruqvtur5"wrqsu
wqs"pruqsxut"qnt"txuru"wqs"qn"ovvur"ov"sq}vqtyon7
The Search for Certainty 47

From the descent into hell of self-knowledge, the


soul ascended into the heaven of knowing God.
Methodism compressed all experience of salvation
into one moment. The deepest misery and the
highest blessedness lay side by side. He who sat
down in the sinner's seat as a lost soul was in that
same moment found by Christ. He sat down guilty
and deserving hell, and he stood up pardoned and
having inherited heaven.
Faith was therefore an immediate, full certainty,
because it originated suddenly out of deep woe and
derived its total certainty from the contrast with
the state that preceded it. Faith was born in the
bright light of awareness. The Methodist knows the
day and the hour of his rebirth. John Wesley (1703-
1791) was converted on May 24, 1738 at 9:15 P.M.
Anyone who came into the certainty of faith by this
route never need doubt his own condition. There
was no longer any need for continual self-
examination, looking inward to test the reality of
one's faith. One knew that one had passed from
death into life and now had more important things
to do. Justification was for once and always,
finished, but sanctification lay before him. And
around him lay a world full of lost souls who needed
to be saved in the same manner. Converted himself,
he now had no higher calling than to convert others
and to win as many souls for Jesus as possible.
Both movements have exerted a strong influence
on Christianity. They awoke Christians from their
self-reflection and called them out of their isolation
48 ]qn"Kn{tjrwty"xo"Njrtq

rqs{"to"txu"rqtt}u"wytx"txu"wor}t7"entur"txuyr
}uqtursxyp5"xo—u"qnt"voruywn"—yssyons"rusuyvut"q
powurvu}"y—putus7"dxusu"sonwruwqtyons"q}so"too{
txu"ynytyqtyvu"yn"orwqnyzynw"cuntqy"ssxoo}s"qnt
—qny"otxur"{ynts"ov"qssosyqtyons7"Ns"q"rusu}t"ov
txusu"—ovu—unts"txu"tystryrutyon"ov"Oyr}us"qnt
trqsts5"uvqnwu}ys—5"pxy}qntxropy5"qnt"—qny"otxur
Pxrystyqn"qstyons"wuru"—qtu"to"survu"txu"spruqt"ov
txu"Xynwto—"ov"Tot7"N}}"ov"Pxrystyqnyty"wqs"sxq{un
out"ov"yts"s}u—rur"qnt"styrrut"ynto"nuw5"vytq}"}yvu7
[uvurtxu}uss5"yt"sqnnot"ru"tunyut"txqt"rotx
—ovu—unts"suvvurut"vro—"q"nqrrownuss"ov"Pxrystyqn
vysyon7"[uytxur"pqyt"suvvysyunt"qttuntyon"to"txu"vyrst
qrtys}u"ov"txu"Npost}u0s"Pruut5"nq—u}y5"txqt"Tot"ys
txu"N}—ywxty5"Zq{ur"ov"xuqvun"qnt"uqrtx7"dxu"uqrtx6
}y"turrqyns"ov"qrt"qnt"ssyunsu5"}yturqturu"qnt"po}ytyss5
vq—y}y"qnt"sosyuty"wuru"not"rusownyzut"yn"txuyr"vu}}
—uqnynw"qnt"sywnyvysqnsu"qnt"wuru"txuruvoru"q}so
not"ruvor—ut"qnt"runuwut"on"txu"rqsys"ov"Pxrystyqn
prynsyp}us7"bustynw"yn"txu"wounts"ov"Wusus"or"ruynw
sonvurtut"qnt"txun"woynw"out"to"sonvurt"otxurs
suu—ut"to"ru"txu"untyru"sontunt"ov"txu"Pxrystyqn"}yvu7
cunty—untq}yty"qnt"qn"unxuq}txy"sunsyry}yty"ovtun
sxqrqsturyzut"txu"vyrst"stqtu"qnt"vrunzyut" and
txouwxt}uss"qstyvyty"txu"otxur7"Ponssyousnuss"wqs
ovtun"supprussut"vor"txu"sq{u"ov"u—otyon"qnt"wy}}5
qnt"txuru"wqs"no"xqr—ony"rutwuun"—qn0s
sqpqsytyus"qnt"powurs7"dxu"vruuto—"ov"txu"sxy}trun
ov"Tot—to—ynyon"ovur"txu"wor}t5"txu"wrqtuvu}"un6
zoy—unt"ov"uvury"woot"wyvt"wyvun"ry"txu"Sqtxur"ov
q}}"}ywxt5"txu"vqytxvu}"uxursysu"ov"txu"uqrtx}y"sq}}ynw5
]qn"[nj{lq"ox{"Kn{tjrwty 49

txu"opun"uyu5"txu"rroqt"vyuw5"txu"spqsyous"xuqrt—
nonu"ov"txusu"sq—u"to"vruytyon7"dxu"Pxrystyqn"}yvu
wqs"ovtun"suun"to"ru"q}onwsytu5"so—uty—us"qrovu5
qnt"ossqsyonq}}y"uvun"qt"un—yty"wytx"xu—qn"}yvu7
Uuru"Pxrystyqnyty"wqs"not"}y{u"q"}uqvun"txqt"—yxus
wytx"txu"touwx"qnt"}uqvuns"txu"wxo}u7

Truqtur"ensurtqynty

N"wruqt"unsurtqynty"rusu}tut"vro—"txu"—yxturu"ov
txusu"tyvvurunt"u}u—unts"ynto"txu"}yvu"ov"vqytx7"Vt"wqs
sontynuq}}y"ruynw"tryvun"yn"tyvvurunt"tyrustyons—or6
txotox"qnt"pyutyst5"Zorqvyqn"qnt"Zutxotyst5
rqtyonq}yst"qnt"—ystysq}—pruvuntynw"yt"vro—"tq{ynw
q"sonsystunt"soursu"qnt"wrowynw"stuqty}y"yn"txu
wrqsu"qnt"{now}utwu"ov"our"Yort"Wusus"Pxryst7
Rvun"—oru"tq—qwynw"to"txu"spyrytuq}"}yvu"txqn"txusu
tyvvurunsus"yn"ru}ywyous"vyuwpoynt5"xowuvur5"wqs"txu
suttynw"zutw—unt"ov"pxy}osopxy"on"—qn0s"sqpqsyty
to"{now5"qnt"txu"y—pqst"ov"xystorysq}"rusuqrsx"on
txu"Uo}y"csrypturus"qs"txu"soursu"ov"trutx7
cynsu"txu"ty—u"ov"V——qnuu}"Xqnt5"q"pxy}osopxysq}
notyon"xqs"ruun"wqynynw"uvur"wytur"qssuptqnsuG
—qn5"rount"qs"xu"ys"ry"q"vynytu5"}y—ytut5"sunsu"pur6
suptyon5"sqn"nuvur" gain q"wunuynu"{now}utwu"ov"yn6
vysyr}u5"uturnq}"txynws7"Uystorysq}"srytysys—"xqs
qttut"yts"suq}"to"txys"posytyon"ry"qnnounsynw"txu
untrustwortxynuss"qnt"unru}yqry}yty"ov"not"on}y"txu
sonvussyons"rut"q}so"ov"txu"csrypturus"ov"txu
propxuts"qnt"qpost}us7"dxus5"wu"sqn"vynt"no"—oru
50 The Certainty of Faith

surtqynty—not"outsytu"ov"us5"not"wytxyn"us7"N}}"txqt"ys
surtqyn"ys"wxqt"wu"suu"wytx"our"own"uyus"qnt"tousx
wytx"our"own"xqnts7"Ns"soon"qs"wu"wo"ruyont"txys5
txuru"ys"notxynw"txqt"sqn"stup"vorwqrt"wytx
qutxoryty"to"tu—qnt"—qn0s"sursurvyunsu7"Rvury
—qn"ys"xys"own"—uqsuru"vor"txosu"txynws"xu"sqnnot
suu5"qnt"onu"—qn0s"opynyons"qru"qs"woot"qs
qnotxur0s7"dxuruvoru"}ut"us"uqt"qnt"tryn{"vor
to—orrow"wu"tyu7"]r5"qt"}uqst"}ut"uvuryonu"suu{
sq}vqtyon"yn"xys"own"wqy5"vor"ru}ywyon"ys"q"pryvqtu
—qttur7"Vn"txys"to—qyn"no"onu"xqs"qssuss"to"txu
trutx7
dxys"pxy}osopxy"ov"unru}yuv"ys"wqynynw"wrount—
uvun"q—onw"txosu"wxo"sonvuss"Pxryst—vqstur"txqn
onu"—ywxt"txyn{7"Nnt"}qrwu"—qssus"}yvu"on"yn"txys
vrq—u"ov"—ynt5"ynwqrt}y"swqyut"txys"wqy"qnt"txqt
ry"tourt5"tossut"up"qnt"town"}y{u"ry}}ows"on"txu
suq5"vyntynw"no"puqsu"or"zoy7"]vtun"txosu"wxo"sqrry
txu"nq—u"ov"ru}yuvurs"xytu"txu"unsurtqynty"yn"txuyr
xuqrts"ruxynt"q"noysy"sonsurn"vor"q}}"{ynts"ov"txynws7
Nnt"txu"txuo}owyqns"spqru"no"uvvort"to"r}qzu"q"pqtx
txrouwx"txu"—qzu"ov"s}qy—s"to"txu"{now}utwu"ov
uturnq}"txynws7"Uow"sqn"wu"wqyn"txys"surtqynty"ov
vqytx"wxysx"ys"ussuntyq}"vor"puqsu"ov"xuqrtL
4. The Way to Certainty

Nn"y—portqnt"tystynstyon"rutwuun"ssyunsu"qnt
ru}ywyon"ys"txqt"txu"vyrst"sqn"ru"sqtysvyut"wytx"xu—qn
surtqynty"rut"txu"}qttur"tu—qnts"notxynw"}uss"txqn
tyvynu"surtqynty7"dxu"orzust"ov"vqytx"—ust"ru"txu
wxo}}y"ru}yqr}u5"ynvq}}yr}u5"uturnq}"trutx"so"txqt"wu
sqn"sount"on"yt"yn"}yvu"qnt"tuqtx5"vor"ty—u"qnt"utur6
nyty7"Vn"—ost"uqrtx}y"—qtturs"wu"sqn"to}urqtu"}ussur
or"wruqtur"tuwruus"ov"prorqry}yty7"Out"yn"ru}ywyon5
wxysx"yn"yts"tuupust"wrount"q}wqys"sonsurns"—qn0s
uturnq}"sq}vqtyon5"totq}"surtqynty"ys"qn"yntyspunsqr}u
ruquyru—unt7"dxu"rqsys"ov"our"xopu"vor"uturnyty"sqn6
not"ru"q"xu—qn"wort5"q"rusu}t"ov"ssyuntyvys"ynquyry5
qn"ytuq}"sxqput"ry"our"y—qwynqtyon5"or"q"proposytyon
ruy}t"on"xu—qn"ruqsonynw5"vor"q}}"txusu"qru"sxq{y
qnt"vq}}yr}u7"dxuy"sqnnot"support"txu"ruy}tynw"ov"our
xopu5"vor"soon"yt"wou}t"so}}qpsu"ynto"ruyn7"Sqytx—
ru}ywyous"vqytx—sqn"ry"yts"vury"nqturu"rust"on}y"on"q
wort5"q"pro—ysu"vro—"Tot5"on"so—utxynw"txqt
prosuuts"vro—"Uys"—outx"qnt"ys"ruvuq}ut"to"—qn
uytxur"nqturq}}y"or"supurnqturq}}y7
Vt"ys"txuruvoru"no"soynsytunsu"txqt"q}}"ru}ywyons"qp6
84
52 The Certainty of Faith

puq}"to"ruvu}qtyon7"dxuy"—qy"trqsu"txuyr"orywyn"rqs{
to"q"spusyq}"ruvu}qtyon"or"txuy"—qy"}yvu"on"txu"rqsys
ov"sontynuq}"ruvu}qtyon5"rut"txuy"nuvur"s}qy—"to"rust
on"xu—qn"ynvustywqtyon5"on}y"on"tyvynu"qutxoryty7
dxys"v}ows"vortx"vro—"txu"nqturu"ov"ru}ywyon7
buvu}qtyon"ys"txu"prusupposytyon5"txu"vountqtyon5
txu"v}yp6sytu5"txu"nusussqry"sorru}qtu"ov"ru}ywyon7"N
ru}ywyon"txqt"no"}onwur"tqrus"to"so—u"vorwqrt"yn
Tot0s"nq—u"qnt"qutxoryty"}osus"yts"vury"ussunsu7"Vt
xqs"ruso—u"—ytxo}owy"or"pxy}osopxy"ov"ru}ywyon7
Zoruovur5"yt"xqs"txurury"}ost"yts"ynv}uunsu"on
puop}u5"wxo"q}wqys"uxpust"—oru"vro—"ru}ywyon"txqn
xu—qn"opynyon7"N"txuo}owy"txqt"no"}onwur"tqrus"to
trqsu"yts"tow—q"to"q" Deus dixit 1so"sqys"txu"Yort2
xqs"untur—ynut"yts"vountqtyon5"}ost"yts"stqry}yty5
qnt"wy}}"soon"tu—r}u"ynto"ruyn7"buvu}qtyon5"tyvynu
qutxoryty5"ys"txu"on}y"py}}qr"on"wxysx"ru}ywyon"sqn
rust7
dxys"ys"not"to"tuny5"ov"soursu5"txqt"ru}ywyon"xqs
q}wqys"xorryr}y"qrusut"txys"qutxoryty7"[owxuru"xqs
so"—usx"tusuptyon"ruun"prqstysut5"on"q"}qrwu"or
s—q}}"ssq}u5"surt}y"or"srutu}y5"txqn"yn"txu"qruq"ov
ru}ywyon7"Qu—qwowuus"xqvu"uxp}oytut"txys"tyvynu
qutxoryty"to"vurtxur"txuyr"own"su}vysx"unts7"`ryusts
xqvu"sut"txu—su}vus"up"qs"—outxpyusus"ov"Tot0s"wy}}
to"xo}t"puop}u"yn"rontqwu"qnt"—q{u"txu—"survu"txu
pryusts0"qtvqntqwu"qnt"powur7"cupurstytyon5"wytsx6
srqvt5"vortunu6tu}}ynw"qnt"—qny"otxur"rqrrqrytyus
xqvu"untwynut"txu—su}vus"qrount"txu"stu—"ov
tyvynu"qutxoryty"}y{u"pqrqsytys"p}qnts7"dxu"ynzustysus
qnt"qtrosytyus"so——yttut"txrouwxout"xystory"yn"txu
The W ay to Certainty 53

nq—u"ov"ru}ywyon"qru"sount}uss7"Oroqt"qnt"tuup"ys
txu"ryvur"ov"r}oot"qnt"tuqrs"sxut"ry"q}}"ru}ywyons"to
txu"wruqtur"w}ory"ov"Tot7
Out"q}}"txys"tutrqsts"notxynw"vro—"txu"vqst"txqt
tyvynu"ruvu}qtyon"qnt"tyvynu"qutxoryty"qru"txu"rqsys
ov"ru}ywyon7"bqtxur5"txusu"qsts"tunt"to"sonvyr—"txys
tunut5"vor"—un"vouwxt"onu"qnotxur"to"txu"tuqtx
rusqusu"txuy"wuru"sonvynsut"txuy"wuru"survynw"txu
squsu"ov"Tot"qnt"pro—otynw"txu"ynturust"ov"txu
xywxust"woot7"dxys"qwqyn"poynts"to"txu"vqst"txqt5"yn
tystynstyon"vro—"ssyunsu"qnt"qrt5"ru}ywyon"tu—qnts"q
tyvynu"surtqynty7"dxu"xu—qn"sou}"sqn"vynt"so—p}utu
rust"on}y"yn"TotH"yt"ys"vu}}y"sqtysvyut"on}y"ry"qn"yn6
vq}}yr}u"qutxoryty7"dxu"pruqsxur"ys5"txuruvoru5"powur6
vu}"on}y"wxun"xu"rrynws"txu"gort"ov"Tot7"gytxout"yt
xys"pros}q—qtyon"xqs"no"ynv}uunsu"qnt"powur7"gxo
rut"Tot"wyvus"xy—"txu"rywxt"to"s}y—r"ynto"txu"pu}pyt
qrovu"txu"puop}u5"to"xo}t"up"to"txu—"txu"ru}u"ov"vqytx
qnt"}yvu5"qnt"to"rynt"txuyr"uturnq}"wuq}"or"wou"to
txuyr"qssuptqnsu"or"ruzustyonL

csyuntyvys"Qu—onstrqtyon

Vv"txys"ys"so5"yt"rqysus"q"—oru"y—portqnt"qnt"—oru
tyvvysu}t"quustyonG"gxuru"qnt"xow"sqn"txqt"tyvynu
qutxoryty"ru"vount"wxysx"propur}y"tu—qnts"our
rusownytyon"qnt"orutyunsuL
Vn"qnswurynw"txys"quustyon"wu"ruwyn"wytx"txu
unqtornut"qt—yssyon"txqt"yt"ys"y—possyr}u"to"so—6
p}utu}y"so}vu"txys"ty}u——q"yn"txu"qrstrqst7"Vn"ssyunsu
54 The Certainty of Sqytx

onu"sqnnot"ruwyn"to"yso}qtu"txu"proov"yntrotusut"vor
q"wyvun"proposytyon"so"txqt"q}}"otxur"sonv}ystynw
prusupposytyons"xu}t"ry"txu"surzust"ru—qyn"out"ov
p}qy7"N}}"proov"prusupposus"q"stqrtynw"poynt"so—6
—on"to"txosu"vor"qnt"qwqynst5"q"vountqtyon
rusownyzut"ry"rotx7"Vt"ys"y—possyr}u"to"ruqson"wytx
so—uonu"wxo"tunyus"q}}"prynsyp}us7"Ootx"txu" proovs
qs"wu}}"qs"txu"prusupposytyons"on"wxysx"txuy"rust
vqry"vro—"ssyunsu"to"ssyunsu7"dxuy"qru"tyvvurunt"yn
—qtxu—qtyss"qnt" yn"txu"nqturq}"ssyunsusH"tyvvurunt
yn"txu"pxy}osopxysq}"qnt"yn"txu"xystorysq}"ssyunsus7
dxuy"tyvvur"yn"so—posytyon5"yn"nu—rur5"yn" powur"qnt
yn"txu"tuwruu"to"wxysx"txuy"tupunt"on"txu"surzust
qnt"xys"qttytutu7
Zqtxu—qtysq}"proov"prusupposus"txu"}uqstH"yt
txu"—orqsvny}t5
possussynw"q" vury"so—pu}}ynw"sxqrqstur7"Yowysq}
proov"prosuuts"vro—"q"wruqt"—qny"—oru"prusup6
posytyons"qnt"qs"q"rusu}t"ovtun"}uqvus"txu"otxur"pqr6
ty"unsonvynsut7"Uystorysq}"proov"—q{us"qn"uvun
stronwur"qppuq}"to"txu"surzustH"qs" q"rusu}t5"yt"ys"ovtun
wuq{5"yn"—qny"sqsus"protusynw"no"—oru"txqn"q
tuwruu"ov"prorqry}yty7"Out"wxqtuvur"proovs"txu
ssyunsus"yntrotusu5"txuy"q}wqys"ruy}t"on"txu"unyty
qnt"soxurunsu"ov"xu—qn"nqturu7"Uunsu5"txuy"q}so
ruy}t"on"vqytx"yn"txu"ru}yqry}yty"ov"txu"sunsus5"yn"txu
vq}ytyty"ov"txu"ru}us"ov"}owys5"yn"txu"uxystunsu"ov"q
{nowqr}u"trutx"qnt"yn"txu"vurqsyty"ov"Tot7"dxuy"qru
rqsut"on"—qny"—utqpxysysq}5"}owysq}5"psysxo}owysq}
qnt"utxysq}"prusupposytyons"wxysx"qru"pru6
ustqr}ysxut5"su}v6sontqynut5"su}v6uvytunt"qnt"un6
The Way to Certainty 55

provable, but which are the vehicles of all proof.


Those who would delve beyond them in order to
begin with doubt alone undermine the foundations
of science and make all certainty impossible .
This is even more true in the area of religion. No
one has been raised devoid of all religion and
morality so that he can now stand neutral and un-
prejudiced to all religions. To attempt to prove the
truth of any religion to such an abstract, bloodless
being who exits only in the imagination would
therefore be a futile waste of rime. Everyone learns
to speak a certain language as a child, and in that
language he receives all kinds of religious and moral
concepts, which as a rule he retains to the end of his
life and which rule all his thinking and willing.
The modern method, which seeks to study all
r eligions without making any prior judgments so as
to select one at the end, runs into all kinds of in-
superable practical and theoretic al al objections.
Everyone immediately sees tqn"rvyx}}rkrurty "of
such an attempt to rid oneself of all convictions and
preconceptions planted in the heart by ryrtx"and
breeding before and during scientific investigation.
Even in a thoroughgoing unbeliever the religious
impressions of childhood continue to exercise some
influence. And even theological faculties, although
they may have been converted into faculties of reli-
gion,* continue to feel the influence of their Roman Ca-
tholic, Lutheran, or Reformed origin and environment.
*A change from confessional theology to the comparative
study of religions. (trans.)
56 The Certainty of Faith

Moreover, the method of arriving at the pure


religion through a comparative study of religions
also deserves to be theoretically condemned in the
name of science. Whoever studies the various
religions under the auspices of any scientific
discipline proceeds from the belief that they are
something other, something more than a pathology
of the human spirit. He proceeds from the truth of
religion as such, and thus from the existence of God,
from the value and right of metaphysics, from the
idea of unity and development, plan and purpose in
the history of religions. In order to study the
religions, compare them, judge them according to
their true, distinct values, we require a standard, an
idea of religion, no matter how vague and general,
which precedes such study and evaluation, and
which guides and rules it. A purely positivistic con-
ception of science is untenable not only in theology
but also in the science of comparative religion.
The study of religions has, furthermore, achieved
one important benefit: it has shed clear light on the
superiority of the Christian religion over all other
religions. There are, it is true, a few scattered
groups in Europe and America who give precedence
to Buddhism or Islam and have formally switched
to these religions. And much greater are the ranks
of those who feel they don't need Christianity, can
lead rich lives without it, and hate it all their lives.
In fact, untold numbers are turning their backs on
Christianity in humanistic pride or in practical in-
difference and are seeking satisfaction in paganism.
The Way to Certainty 57

iut5"nonu"ov"txys"tutrqsts"vro—"txu"vqst"txqt"txu
ru}ywyous"qnt"utxysq}"—q{uup"ov"Pxrystyqnyty"ys"vqr
supuryor"to"txqt"ov"q}}"otxur"ru}ywyons7"[owxuru"u}su
qru"nqturu"qnt"xystory5"—qn"qnt"wor}t5"xuqrt"qnt
sonssyunsu"sonsuyvut"wytx"susx"ynty—qtu"trutx"qnt
so"truu"to"ruq}yty"qs"yn"txu"Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon7"]ur
su}v6{now}utwu"qnt"our"{now}utwu"ov"txu"wor}t"son6
tynuq}}y"vuryvy"txu"{now}utwu"ov"Tot"ruvuq}ut"yn
Uo}y"csrypturu7"dxys"ys"txu"}ywxt"on"txu"pqtx"txqt
}uqts"txrouwx"sruqtyon5"qnt"wxysx"ys"ytsu}v"s}qryvyut
qnt"sonvyr—ut"ry"q}}"ov"nqturu"qnt"txu"wxo}u"xystory
ov"—qn{ynt7"gu"xqvu"no"ytuq"wxqt"wu"wou}t"ru
—yssynw5"ynto"wxqt"tyru"spyrytuq}"povurty"wu"wou}t
syn{"yv"txu"Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon"qnt"q}}"yts"ynv}uunsu"qnt
y—pqst"wuru"suttun}y"uxsysut"vro—"our"sosyuty"qnt
su}turu7"Vv"txu"Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon"ys"not"txu"truu
ru}ywyon5"txuru"ys"uvury"ruqson"to"tuspqyr"ov"trutx"yn
txu"qruq"ov"ru}ywyon7"`rqstysq}}y"qnt"sonsrutu}y"txu
quustyon"ruwqrtynw"surtqynty"ov"vqytx"so—us"town"to
txysG"Vn"wxqt"wqy"sqn"txu"trutx"ov"Pxrystyqnyty"ru
tu—onstrqtut"qnt"y—prussut"on"our"sou}s"so"wu"qru
sonvynsutL
dxuru"qru"pry—qry}y"two"wqys"txqt"qru"ruso—6
—untut7"]nu"ys"txu"wqy"txqt"vyrst"tu—onstrqtus"txu
trutx"ov"nqturq}"txuo}owy"txrouwx"txu"proovs"ov
Tot0s"uxystunsu"qnt"ov"txu"yntupuntunsu"qnt"y—6
—ortq}yty"ov"txu"sou}H"txys"qpproqsx"txun"turyvus
proov"vor"txu"trutx"ov"Pxrystyqnyty"vro—"txu
ru}yqry}yty"ov"txu"qpost}us5"txu"propxusyus"qnt
—yrqs}us"ov"Uo}y"csrypturu5"txu"tuqsxynws"qnt"}yvu"ov
Wusus5"txu"sontynuqnsu"qnt"spruqt"ov"txu"sxursx5
58 The Certainty of Faith

uts7"dxys"—utxot"suu{s"to"sonvynsu"us"ry
ruqsonqr}u5"ssyuntyvys"—utxots7
dxys"wqy"ys"not"vorryttun5"y—possyr}u"or"un6
provytqr}u7"Rvun"txu"propxuts5"qpost}us"qnt"Wusus
Uy—su}v"usut"yt"to"—ovu"txuyr"}ystunurs"to"vqytx7
Wusus0"—yrqs}us"qru"sywns"ov"Uys"consxyp"qnt"Uu
tu—qnts"ru}yuv"yn"Uys"purson5"txqt"txu"Sqtxur"ys"yn
Uy—"qnt"Uu"yn"txu"Sqtxur5"on"txu"rqsys"ov"txu"wor{s
Uu"tyt"1Woxn":9G?E27"Pxrystyqn"txuo}owyqns"xqvu
q}wqys"—qtu"usu"ov"txusu"proovs"yn"ortur"to"sy}unsu
opponunts"qnt"s}uqr"q"wqy"vor"vqytx7"dxuy"wyvu"txu
tuvunturs"ov"Pxrystyqnyty"txu"wuqpons"wytx"wxysx"to
rupu}"q}}"{ynts"ov"ssyuntyvys"qttqs{s7"dxusu"proovs
unqr}u"txu—"to"s{y}vu}}y"tuvunt"txu—su}vus"qwqynst
srytysys—"txqt"surzusts"txu"orzust"ov"txuyr"vqytx"to
ssyunsu7"Nnt"Pxrystyqns"qru"qr}u"to"sxow"txqt"qs
—usx5"qnt"usuq}}y"—oru5"sqn"ru"sqyt"yn"support"ov
vqytx"txqn"ov"unru}yuv7
Vt"ys"txuruvoru"wronw"to"tupryvu"onusu}v"ov"txusu
proovs"rusqusu"ov"tourt"qnt"tystrust5"rutruqtynw
ruxynt"txu"ru}wqr{"ov"—ystysys—"qnt"qwnostysys—7
Nnyonu"wxo"tuspqyrs"ruvoruxqnt"ov"xys"squsu"run6
turs"xy—su}v"unvyt"vor"txu"rqtt}u"qnt"prupqrus"vor
tuvuqt7"Vn"txu"ssyuntyvys"qrunq5"too5"ru}yuvurs"qru
sq}}ut"to"wyvu"q"ruqson"vor"txu"xopu"txqt"ys"yn"txu—
qnt5"trustynw"stuqtvqst}y"yn"txu"rywxtnuss"ov"txuyr
own"squsu5"to"stop"txu"—outxs"ov"txuyr"opponunts
qnt"rupu}su"txuyr"qttqs{s7
Pxrystyqnyty"tous5"qvtur"q}}5"xqvu"q"xystorysq}"sytu7
Vt"unso—pqssus"Tot0s"uturnq}"txouwxts"qs"txuy
xqvu"unturut"ynto"tu—porq}"vor—s7"Vts"vosq}"poynt"ys
]qn"bjy"tx"Kn{tjrwty 59

txu"ynsqrnqtyon"ov"txu"gort"qnt"yt"rusts"on"q
ruvu}qtyon"wytx"q"}onw5"rysx"xystory"txqt"so—prysus
pqrt"ov"txu"wor}t"qs"q"wxo}u5"qnt"qs"susx"ys"qs6
sussyr}u"to"xystorysq}"stuty7"N}txouwx"txu"proovs
—qy"ru"ynsuvvysyunt"to"—ovu"so—uonu"to"ru}yuvu"yn
txu"trutx"ov"Pxrystyqnyty5"on"txu"otxur"xqnt"ru}yuv"yn
txqt"trutx"wou}t"surtqyn}y"xqvu"no"rywxt"to"uxyst yv
,

txys"ruvu}qtyon"sou}t"ru"provut"to"ru"unxystorysq}7
Sor"vqytx"ys"not"on}y"trust5"yt"ys"q}so"{now}utwu"qnt
qssunt"qnt"sqnnot"}yvu"ry"sunnynw}y"tuvysut"vqr}us7
dxu"proovs"vor"txu"tyvynu"tusty—ony"ov"txu"Uo}y
csrypturus"qt"}uqst"possuss"txu"powur"to"—q{u"yt
s}uqr"txqt"to"ru}yuvu"ys"not"unruqsonqr}u"or"nonsun6
sysq}7"gu"surtqyn}y"ton0t"xqvu"rusoursu"to
—qtxu—qtysq}"proovs5"rut"txusu"qru"not"qvqy}qr}u"yn
qny"qruq"ov"xystory7"Uystory"ys"not"q"—qtxu—qtysq}
pror}u—7"[uvurtxu}uss5"txu"ynwqrt"qnt"outwqrt
sxqrqsturystyss"ov"ruvu}qtyon"to"wytxout"q"tourt"qtt
up"yn"nu—rur"qnt"vorsu"qwqynst"yts"opponunts7
[u—urous"qrwu—unts"xqvu"ruun"yntrotusut"ovur
txu"yuqrs"to"sxq}}unwu"txu"wunuynunuss"qnt
ru}yqry}yty"ov"txu"Uo}y"csrypturus5"rut"—qny"soon
qppuqrut"to"ru"unsonvynsynw"qnt"xqt"to"ru"tq{un
rqs{7"Nto}v"von"Uqrnqs{"1:EB:6:F?92"tus}qrut"txqt
txu"ty—u"wqs"pqst"yn"wxysx"wu"sou}t"suu"yn"txu"o}tust
Pxrystyqn"wrytynws"q"tyssuu"ov"tusuptyons"qnt"tystor6
tyons5"vor"txu"ruports"wu"xqvu"qrout"txu"orywyn"ov
Pxrystyqnyty"qru"sorrust"yn"rroqt"out}ynu7"Rwyptyqn
qnt"Nssyryqn"qrsxuo}owysq}"tyssovuryus"xqvu
ustqr}ysxut"ruyont"tourt"txqt"q}}"s}qy—s"qrout"txu
}qs{"ov"su}turu"yn"Zosus0"tqy"qnt"txu"y—possyry}yty
C9 The Certainty of Faith

txqt"the decalogue had been delivered at that time


are completely untenable. If in the Scriptures we
were dealing with ordinary history, and sinful self-
interest and human hardness of heart played no role,
the proofs for their truth would generally be re-
garded as sufficient. The blame for man's unbelief
lies not in God and His revelation but in man him-
self.

Vnsuvvysyunsy"ov"`roovs

Nevertheless, because of the subjective in-


clination of the human heart, all proofs are insuf-
ficient to move man to believe. The word of the
Gospel itself lacks the power. How then could this
be strengthened by human proofs for the truth of
that word? These proofs are usually of a more
or less scientific nature and are the result of a great
deal of study and reflection. Before they were
discovered, they could, of course, do no service.
Now that they do exist, they are usually known and
understood only by the highly educated. Moreover,
closer investigation and more serious reflection may
rob them of all or part of their strength. They are
therefore of importance in any scientific struggle,
but for religion they have only a limited value, for
no person's religious life is based on or nurtured by
such proofs. For this we can be thankful. The
revelation given us in God's Word is for everyone,
for the learned as well as the common man. Its
]qn"bjy"tx"Kn{tjrwty 61

trutx"—qy"not"xynwu"on"ssyuntyvys"ynvustywqtyons
wxysx"qru"qssussyr}u"on}y"to"txu"wysu"qnt"}uqrnut7
dxys"ys"wxy"ruvu}qtyon"possussus"q"wxo}}y"unyquu
sxqrqstur7"Vt"ys"xystoryH"yt"sonsysts"ov"worts"qnt"vqsts
txqt"xqvu"ortqynut"q"p}qsu"yn"txu"}yvu"qnt"xystory"ov
—qn{ynt7"Out"yts"untyru"tuvu}op—unt"ys"ru}ut"ry"onu
spusyq}5"tyvynu"ytuq7"buvu}qtyon"ys"qn"orwqnys—"wytx
q"}yvu"ov"yts"own7"Nt"wor{"yn"yt"qru"powurs"txqt"qru
not"uqrtx}y"rut"xuqvun}y5"not"tu—porq}"rut"uturnq}5
not"xu—qn"rut"tyvynu7"Vt"ys"v}usx"yn"yts"wxo}u
—qnyvustqtyon5"rut"txqt"v}usx"ys"ynxqrytut"ry"txu
gort5"wxysx"ys"wytx"Tot"qnt"wxysx"ys"Tot"Uy—su}v7
Vt"ys"not"zust"q"wytnuss"qrout"uvunts"yn"txu"pqst
wxysx"no"}onwur"sonsurn"usH"qs"q"wytnuss"ov"txu
—yrqsu}ous"tuuts"ov"Tot"yn"tqys"wonu"ry5"yt"ys"q
wort"txqt"uvun"now"sty}}"wous"out"vro—"Tot"to"—qn5
sq}}ynw"xy—"rqs{"to"Uys"vu}}owsxyp7
Wust"qs"xystory"yn"wunurq}"ys"no"—uru"su—"ov"yn6
sytunts"rut"qn"orwqnys"unyty"ov"ynturru}qtut"uvunts
tyut"towutxur"ry"q"synw}u"ytuq5"so"txu"worts"qnt"vqsts
txqt"ru}onw"to"txu"spxuru"ov"spusyq}"ruvu}qtyon"so—6
prysu"q"systu—"ru}ut"ry"onu"txouwxt5"onu"p}qn5"onu
woq}7"Nnyonu"wxo"tousn0t"unturstqnt"txys"txouwxt
tousn0t"unturstqnt"ruvu}qtyon7"dxqt"purson"suts"txu
xuqrt5"txu"sou}5"txu"}yvu"out"ov"txu"orwqnys—"qnt"ys
}uvt"wytx"notxynw"rut"q"try"s{u}uton"wxysx"vq}}s
qpqrt"qnt"ys"tustynut"vor"txu"sxqrnu}"xousu7"dxun
txu"worts"qnt"vqsts5"wxysx"turyvu"txuyr"vq}uu"vro—
ruvu}qtyon5"}osu"txuyr"—uqnynw"qnt"sywnyvysqnsu5
rusqusu"txuy"txun"—ust"ru"uxp}qynut"on"q"nqturq}
}uvu}"qnt"zutwut"ry"xu—qn"stqntqrts7"dxu
62 dxu"Purtqynty"ov"Sqytx

ynuvytqr}u"rusu}t"ys"txqt"txu"unyty"ov"csrypturu5"txu
unyty"ov"vqytx5"txu"unyty"ov"txu"sxursx5"qnt"txu"unyty
ov"txuo}owy"tysqppuqrs7
Vv"txu"xystory"ov"ruvu}qtyon"ys"not"wrqsput"qnt
tussryrut"vro—"txu"vyuwpoynt"ov"yts"own"ytuq5"yt"q}so
stops"ruynw"xystory"yn"txu"ortynqry5"nqturq}"sunsu"ov
txu"wort7"dxu"Uo}y"csrypturus"sonstqnt}y"tysqp6
poynt"us"yv"wu"surzust"txu—"to"txu"sq—u"tu—qnts"wu
put"on"otxur"xystorysq}"soursus7"Purtqyn}y"txu"roo{s
ov"txu"]}t"dustq—unt"to"not"unqr}u"us"to"wrytu"qn
ortynqry"xystory"ov"Vsrqu}7"dxu"Tospu}s"qru"zust"qs
unsqtysvqstory"vor"q"sontynuous"nqrrqtyvu"ov"txu"}yvu
ov"Wusus7"Nnt"txu"Rpyst}us"sonstqnt}y"}ut"us"town"yv
wu"usu"txu—"to"qsquqynt"oursu}vus"wytx"txu"}yvus"ov
txu"qpost}us"or"txu"xystory"ov"txu"sxursx"turynw"txu
vyrst"suntury7"N}}"txusu"wrytynws"qru"so—posut"vro—
txu"vyuwpoynt"ov"vqytx7"[onu"ov"txu—"ys"txu"protust
ov"q"so6sq}}ut"prusupposytyon}uss5"ssyuntyvys5
xystorysq}"ynvustywqtyon7"N}}"qru"txu"tusty—onyus"ov
ru}yuvurs7"Nnyonu"wxo"tryus"to"wrytu"q"ruwu}qr
xystory"ov"Vsrqu}5"ov"Wusus5"or"ov"txu"qpost}us"qpqrt
vro—"txu"ytuq"ov"ruvu}qtyon"wy}}"vynt"xy—su}v"sonstqnt6
}y"vorsut"to"rusort"to"xypotxusus5"to"vy}}"txu"wqps
wytx"sonzusturu5"to"u—unt5"srytysyzu"qnt"ruwystur"txu
soursus"yn"ortur"to"qsxyuvu"q"sontynuous"wxo}u7
Sro—"txys"spusyq}"sxqrqstur"ov"ruvu}qtyon"yt"tyrust6
}y"vo}}ows"txqt"ruqsonqr}u"ssyuntyvys"proovs"qru"yn6
suvvysyunt"to"ustqr}ysx"txu"trutx"ov"txu"Pxrystyqn
ru}ywyon"ruyont"q"ruqsonqr}u"tourt"yn"txu"sq—u"wqy
qs"txqt"ov"ortynqry"xystorysq}"uvunts7"N}}"txosu
proovs"on}y"tousx"txu"vqsts"uxturnq}}y"qnt"to"not
The Way to Certainty 63

punutrqtu"to"txuyr"xuqrt"qnt"ussunsu7"Vn"txu"worts"ov
[qtxqsyus5"txuy"}uqt"us"to"txu"u—pty"to—r"rut"not
to"txu"}yvynw"cqvyor7"Nt"—ost"txuy"}uqt"to"q
xystorysq}"vqytx7"Vn"txu"bo—qn"Pqtxo}ys"ssxu—u"txys
ys"unouwx"to"rusuyvu"supurnqturq}"wrqsu"txrouwx
rqptys—5"qnt"uvun"wytxyn"`rotustqntys—"yt"ys"not
tuvoyt"ov"q}}"sywnyvysqnsuH"nuvurtxu}uss5"yt"ys"not"txu
wunuynu5"truu"vqytx7
Uystorysq}"vqytx"rutusus"ruvu}qtyon"to"ortynqry
xystory"txqt"too{"p}qsu"yn"txu"pqst"rut"no"}onwur
sonsurns"us7"Vt"ru—ovus"vro—"txu"gort"ov"Tot"txqt
wxysx"ys"txu"soru"qnt"wxqt"totqy"sty}}"—q{us"yt"qn
evangel, txu"woot"nuws"ov"sq}vqtyon7"Vt"ys"notxynw
—oru"txqn"q"rqtyonq}"qssunt"to"so—u"pqst"uvunts5
wytxout"qny"ynvo}vu—unt"ov"xuqrt"qnt"wytxout"q
sxqnwu"ov"tyrustyon"yn"onu0s"}yvu7"dxu"bo—qn
Pqtxo}ys"Pxursx"q}so"s}qy—s"susx"vqytx"ys"ynsuv6
vysyunt"vor"sq}vqtyon7"Nssortynw"to"txu"bo—qn
Pqtxo}ys"sonvussyon5"txys"vqytx"—ust"ru"supp}u6
—untut"ry"}ovu"qnt"rusuyvu"yts"vor—"qnt"vuqturus
vro—"}ovu"yn"ortur"to"zustyvy"qnt"sqnstyvy"—qn7"dxys
supp}u—unt5"xowuvur5"yntrotusus"no"ruq}"sxqnwu"yn6
to"txu"ussunsu"ov"vqytx7"Vt"}uqvus"txu"ortynqry
xystorysq}"sxqrqstur"ov"vqytx"unsxq}}unwutH"yn"q
quustyonqr}u"—qnnur"yt"sxyvts"txu"onus"vro—"vqytx"to
}ovu5"vro—"txu"wospu}"to"txu"}qw5"vro—"ru}ywyon"to
—orq}yty7
]vur"qwqynst"txys"txu"buvor—qtyon"too{"txu
posytyon"txqt"ruvu}qtyon"wqs"not"—uru}y"q"nqrrqtyvu
ov"pqst"uvunts"rut"q"wort"ov"Tot"to"us7"dxuruvoru5
vqytx"wqsn0t"zust"qssunt"to"txu"trutx"ov"xystorysq}
64 The Certainty of Faith

ruports"rut"q"xuqrtvu}t"trust"yn"txu"woot"nuws"ov
sq}vqtyon7"dxu"buvor—qtyon"txurury"rustorut"txu
ruvu}qtory"sxqrqstur"to"ruvu}qtyon5"qnt"txu"pursonq}
ru}qtyon"rutwuun"Tot"qnt"—qn"to"vqytx7"Vt"qwqyn
—qtu"txu—"{nurprxw3

dxu"Yyrurq}"co}utyon

Sor"q}}"txusu"ruqsons"wu"xqvu"sytut"qwqynst
xystorysq}"proovs5"—qny"txuo}owyqns"vo}}owynw
Sryutrysx"csx}uyur—qsxur"1:DCE6:E?A25"ruwqn"to
sxq—pyon"qnotxur"—utxot"to"tu—onstrqtu"txu"trutx
ov"txu"Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon"qnt"to"}uqt"puop}u"to"txu
surtqynty"ov"vqytx—txu"—utxot"ov"uxpuryunsu7"dxys
—utxot"xu}t"txqt"txu"ruvu}qtyon"wyvun"us"yn"csryp6
turu5"pqrtysu}qr}y"yn"txu"purson"ov"Pxryst5"sqrryus"q
unyquu"sxqrqstur7"Vt"ys"not"q"protust"ov"ssyuntyvys
proposytyons"txqt"sqn"ru"—qtu"qssuptqr}u"to"ruqson
ry"proovs7"[or"ys"yt"q"—uru"tostrynu"ruquyrynw"on}y
yntu}}ustuq}"qwruu—unt7"[o5"csrypturq}"ruvu}qtyon"ys
}yvuH"yt"xqs"q"ru}ywyous6utxysq}"sontunt5"wxysx"survus
to"—q{u"q"—qn"wysu"unto"sq}vqtyon5"to"—q{u"xy—"yn6
tupuntunt"vro—"txu"wor}t"so"xu"sqn"stqnt"yn"txu
vruuto—"ov"txu"w}ory"ov"txu"sxy}trun"ov"Tot7
dxu"trutx"ov"txqt"ruvu}qtyon"sqn"txuruvoru"ru
rusownyzut"on}y"ry"txu"sonssyunsu5"ry"txu"xuqrt5"ry
txu"wy}}7"Vt"—ust"ru"prqstysq}}y"uxpuryunsut5"ux6
puryuntyq}}y"{nownH"onu"—ust"vuu}"yt"yn"txu"sou}7
Qon0t"txu"csrypturus"sqy"on}y"txu"puru"ov"xuqrt"wy}}
suu"TotL"]n}y"txosu"wxo"qru"rorn"qwqyn"wy}}"untur
The W ay to Certainty 65

txu"Xynwto—"ov"UuqvunL"]n}y"txosu"wxo"to"txu"wy}}
ov"txu"xuqvun}y"Sqtxur"wy}}"sonvuss"txqt"Wusus
tousn0t"spuq{"vro—"Uy—su}v"rut"txqt"Uys"tuqsxynws
qru"vro—"Tot7
dxu"wospu}"ov"Pxryst"tous"not"qttruss"ytsu}v"vyrst
ov"q}}"to"—qn"qs"q"—orq}"ruynw7"Vt"sonvronts"xy—"wytx
txu"utxysq}"sxoysu"ov"uytxur"ru—qynynw"surzust"to"txu
wor}t"qnt"syn"or"sxqrynw"yn"txu"nuw"}yvu"ov"vruuto—
yssuynw"vro—"txu"ynv}uunsu"ov"Pxryst0s"y—qwu"yn"txu
csrypturus"qnt"yn"txu"sxursx7"dxosu"wxo"zoyn"yn"txu
vqytx"ov"txu"sxursx"qnt"q}}ow"txu—su}vus"to"ru"yn6
v}uunsut"ry"txu"y—qwu"ov"Pxryst"wy}}"xqvu"q"sqvynw
uxpuryunsu7"dxu"wospu}"so—vorts"txu"sonssyunsu5
rrynws"puqsu"to"txu"xuqrt5"strunwtxuns"txu"wy}}5"qnt
untows"txu"wxo}u"purson"wytx"txu"powur"to"}yvu"q
new }yvu7"dxys"uxpuryunsu"qssurus"onu"ov"txu"trutx"ov
txu"Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon5"ov"txu"ruvu}qtyon"ov"Tot0s
wrqsu"yn"Pxryst5"qnt"ov"onu0s"own"sytyzunsxyp"yn"txu
Xynwto—"ov"Uuqvun7
N—onw"txosu"wxo"rqsu"txu"trutx"ov"Pxrystyqnyty
qnt"txu"surtqynty"ov"sq}vqtyon"on"susx"qn"uxpury6
unsu5"txuru"ys"q"—qr{ut"tyvvurunsu"yn"txu"sxqrqstur"qs
wu}}"qs"txu"sontunt"ov"txuyr"uxpuryunsu7"co—u"xqvu"yn
—ynt"qn"uxpuryunsu"txqt"ys"txu"vruyt"ov"q"spusyq}
opurqtyon"ov"txu"Uo}y"cpyryt7"]txurs"ruwqrt"yt"qs"q
protust"ov"txu"y—qwu"ov"Pxryst"qs"yt"spuq{s"to"us"yn
txu"csrypturus"qnt"}yvus"on"yn"txu"sxursx7"cty}}
otxurs"suu"yt"qs"not"—usx"—oru"txqn"q"vurtxur
tuvu}op—unt"ov"txu"ru}ywyous5"—orq}"uxpuryunsus
txqt"uvuryonu"unturwous"yn"xys"xuqrt"qnt"sonssyunsu
vro—"ty—u"to"ty—u7
66 The Certainty of Faith

cy—y}qr}y"txuru"qru"q}so"wruqt"tyvvurunsus"qrout
txu"sontunt"ov"susx"uxpuryunsus7"dxuru"qru"txosu
wxo"suu{"to"sonstrust"qn"untyru"sonvussyonq}
tow—qtyss"on"yt5"vor"uxq—p}u5"q"Yutxurqn"onu7
]txurs"ynvur"vro—"yt"txu"ru}ywyous6utxysq}"trutx"ov
csrypturu"or"txu"tostrynu"ov"txu"purson"qnt"wor{"ov
Pxryst7"cty}}"otxurs"ru}yuvu"txys"uxpuryunsu"on}y
ustqr}ysxus"txu"ynnur"}yvu"ov"Pxryst5"txqt"ys5"txu
utxysq}"wruqtnuss"ov"Wusus5"qpqrt"vro—"Uys"—yrqs}us5
Uys"supurnqturq}"ryrtx5"Uys"rusurrustyon"qnt"qssun6
syon7"Uqrnqs{"uvun"qssurtut"txqt"txu"purson"ov
Pxryst"tous"not"ru}onw"yn"txu"orywynq}"wospu}7

Rxpuryunsu"qs"txu"Trount"ov"Purtqynty

dxusu"tyvurwynw"vyuwpoynts"on"txu"nqturu"qnt
sontunt"ov"ru}ywyous"uxpuryunsu"—q{u"yt"s}uqr"txqt"wu
—ust"sqruvu}}y"tystynwuysx"xuru"rutwuun"trutx"qnt
urror5"qnt"ru"on"wuqrt"vor"—ysunturstqntynw7"epon
tuupur"ruv}ustyon5"wu"ruso—u"ynsruqsynw}y"sonvynsut
ov"txys5"vor"yv"wu"tq{u"uxpuryunsu"to"—uqn"sunsu"pur6
suptyon—qs"wu"to"wxun"wu"spuq{"ov"txu"uxpury6
—untq}"ssyunsus—txun"txuru"ys"no"p}qsu"vor"ux6
puryunsu"yn"ru}ywyous"{now}utwu7"dxu"ruq}"sontunt"ov
txu"Pxrystyqn"vqytx5"wxutxur"yt"ru"tq{un"yn"q"rroqtur
or"nqrrowur"sunsu"to"yns}utu"on}y"—orq}"trutxs"or
q}so"txu"purson"ov"Pxryst5"txu"trynyty5"txu"ynsqr6
nqtyon"qnt"Pxryst0s"propytyqtyon5"ys"untyru}y"ruyont
uxpuryunsu7"Vt"sqnnot"ru"suun"or"xuqrt5"—uqsurut"or
wuywxut7"Nnt"yt"ys"so—p}utu}y"y—possyr}u"to
The W ay to Certainty 67

ustqr}ysx"txu"trutx"ov"txqt"vqytx"ry"uxpury—unt7
Vv"uxpuryunsu"ys"tq{un"yn"txu"sunsu"ov"ynnur"ux6
puryunsu5"yt"ys"truu"ruyont"tourt"txqt"txu"Pxrystyqn
vqytx"rrynws"wytx"yt"q"wuq}tx"ov"uxpuryunsus7"Tuy}t
vuu}ynws5"sonsurns"qrout"syn5"qssusqtyons"ov"son6
ssyunsu5"vuqrs"qrout"tuqtx"qnt"uturnyty5"txu"nuut"vor
rutu—ptyon5"xopu"yn"Pxryst5"puqsu"yn"Uys"r}oot5
rusonsy}yqtyon"wytx"Tot5"vu}}owsxyp"wytx"Uy—
txrouwx"txu"Uo}y"cpyryt5"sonso}qtyon"ov"txu"xuqrt5
zoy"ov"txu "sou}5"vorutqstus"ov"uturnq}"}yvu"qnt"—qny
otxur"xu—r}ynw" ant"so—vortynw"uxpuryunsus—to"q
wruqtur"or"}ussur" degree these ZIT q}}"pqrt"ov"txu"}yvu
ov"txosu"wxo"vo}}ow"txu"Pxrystyqn"wqy"ov"sq}vqtyon7
dxu"Pxrystyqn"vqytx"qwq{uns"q"wxo}u" world ov
u—otyons"yn"txu"xu—qn"xuqrt5"rqnwynw"on"txu" scale
vro—"wroqns"ov"uttur"rro{unnuss"to"txu"zury}qnt
sonw"ov"r}ussut"uxu}tqtyon7
Out"q}}"txusu"uxpuryunsus"prusupposu5"qsso—pqny
qnt"vo}}ow"vqytx7"dxuy"qru"not"yts"wrount"qnt"to"not
prusutu"yt7"Nnyonu"wxo"tous"not"ru}yuvu"txu"csryp6
turus0"tuqsxynws"on"syn"qnt"tous"not"qs{now}utwu
txu—"qs"q"ruvu}qtyon"vro—"Tot5"q}so"wy}}"not"ru"ovur6
so—u"ry"q"sunsu"ov"wuy}t7"Nnyonu"wxo"tous"not"son6
vuss"Pxryst"to"ru"txu"cqvyor"ov"txu"wor}t"wy}}"not
suu{"propytyqtyon"vor"syn"yn"Uys"r}oot7"cy—y}qr}y5
qnyonu"wxo"tous"not"ru}yuvu"yn"txu"Uo}y"cpyryt"wy}}
nuvur"tqstu"Uys"vu}}owsxyp7"Nnt"qnyonu"wxo"tourts
txu"uxystunsu"ov"Tot"sqnnot"ruzoysu"yn"ruynw"Uys
sxy}t"qnt"xuyr7"dxosu"wxo"so—u"to"Tot"—ust5"yn
sxort5"ru}yuvu"txqt"Uu"uxysts5"qnt"txqt"Uu"ruwqrts
txosu"wxo"suu{"Uy—7
68 The Certainty of Faith

N}}"txusu"trutxs5"wxysx"sonstytutu"txu"sontunt"ov
txu"Pxrystyqn"vqytx5"qru"q}so"ry"txuyr"vury"nqturu"y—6
possyr}u"to"uxpuryunsu"pursonq}}y7"dxuy"qru5"qvtur
q}}5"not"ynnqtu"ytuqsH"wu"sqnnot"trutwu"txu—"up"vro—
txu"xyttun"truqsuru"ov"our"xuqrts"sy—p}y"ry
txyn{ynw"xqrt7"gu"sqn"on}y"}uqrn"qrout"txu—"yv"wu
qru"to}t"ry"so—uonu"u}su7"[o"onu"{nows"ry"nqturu
that God is the Almighty, Creator of heaven and
earth, that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son,
conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin
Mary, that He suffered under Ponti us Pilate, died,
was buried, descended into hell, arose, ascended in-
to heaven until He shall come again to judge the
ving i
and the dead, that the Holy Spirit
l

regenerates man and leads him into the truth, that


there is one holy, catholic church to which in grace
God has given the gifts of the communion of the
saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of
the body and the life everlasting.
It was a common practice to derive the resurrec-
tion from the experience of God's children. And the
power of the resurrection is indeed revealed in
believers. The new, spiritual life flows to them from
this source. They are born again to a living hope
through the resurrection of Christ. Faith, the
forgiveness of sins, the hope of glory, dying in
Christ are built on the resurrection, and without it
these experiences would be no more than vain
illusions.
Nevertheless, it is self-deception to think that the
reality of the resurrection of Christ can be deduced
The W ay to Certainty 69

vro—"txu"nuw"}yvu"ov"txu"sxy}trun"ov"Tot"qpqrt"vro—
txu"csrypturus7"dxu"Pxrystyqn"{nows"txqt"xu"owus
txys"nuw"}yvu"to"Pxryst0s"rusurrustyon"on}y"vro—"txu
qposto}ys"wytnuss7"dxys"ys"txu"on}y"wqy"xu"sqn"so—u
to"{now"yt"xuru"on"uqrtx7"dxu"ynnur"uxpuryunsu"ov"txu
powur"ov"Pxryst0s"rusurrustyon"prusupposus"vqytx"yn
txqt"rusurrustyon7"gytxout"yt5"txu"ru}yuvur"sou}t"not
rusownyzu"txys"uxpuryunsu"vor"wxqt"yt"ys7

dxu"Sqy}uru"ov"Rxpuryunsu
dxu"—utxot"txqt"suu{s"to"turyvu"txu"orzustyvu"vqsts
ov"Pxrystunto—"vro—"txu"ru}ywyous"uxpuryunsu"ov
txu"sxursx"ry"ruqsonynw"vro—"uvvust"to"squsu"ouwxt
to"ru"ruzustut7"dxu"Uo}y"csrypturus"nuvur"poynt"us
yn"txqt"tyrustyon7"Vn"V"Poryntxyqns":B5"`qu}"tous
poynt"out"to"txu"sxursx"ov"Poryntx"txu"yntysso}ur}u
unyty"rutwuun"txu"r}ussynws"ru}yuvurs"sxqru"yn"qnt
txu"rusurrustyon"ov"Pxryst7"Out"xu"tous"so"on}y"qvtur
ustqr}ysxynw"qnt"sonvyr—ynw"yt"wytx"txu"wytnuss"ov
csrypturu"qnt"txu"qppuqrqnsu"ov"txu"rysun"cqvyor7
dxu"Uo}y"csrypturus"nuvur"—q{u"q"ru}yuvur"tupun6
tunt"on}y"on"xy—su}v7"dxuy"q}wqys"rynt"xy—"to
txu"orzustyvu"wort—to"txu"}qw"qnt"txu"wytnuss7"Vv
txuy"to"not"spuq{"qssortynw"to"txys"wort5"txuy"xqvu
no"}ywxt"ov"tqwn7"Vv"txuy"xqvu"ruzustut"txu"wort"ov
txu"Y]bQ5"wxqt"{ynt"ov"wysto—"to"txuy"xqvuL"dxu
sxursx"ys"ruy}t"on"txu"vountqtyon"ov"txu"qpost}us"qnt
propxuts7"`qu}"txruqtuns"wytx"Tot0s"sursu"qnyonu
wxo"pruqsxus"qnotxur"wospu}7
70 The Certainty of Faith

]nu"sqnnot"sountur"ry"rusq}}ynw"txu"worts"ov"txu
cq—qrytqns5"wxo"sqyt"txuy"no"}onwur"ru}yuvut"sy—p}y
on"txu"rqsys"ov"wxqt"txu"wo—qn"qt"txu"wu}}"xqt"to}t
txu—5"rut"rusqusu"txuy"xqt"xuqrt"Pxryst"Uy—su}v"qnt
{nuw"txqt"Uu"tru}y"wqs"txu"cqvyor"ov"txu"wor}t7"gu
—qy5"to"ru"suru5"sons}utu"vro—"txys"txqt"yn"txu
wospu}"yt"q}}"so—us"town"to"pursonq}"vqytx5" yn6
tyvytuq}"sonvystyon7"Out"yn"no"wqy"tous"txys"suwwust
txqt"vqytx"ys"yntupuntunt"or"sxou}t"wrqtuq}}y"—q{u
ytsu}v"yntupuntunt"ov"txu"wytnuss"ov"txu"qpost}us7
dxu"qpost}us"xqvu"q"—usx"tyvvurunt"tqs{"ru}qtyvu"to
txu"sxursx"txqn"txu"wo—qn"qt"txu"wu}}"xqt"yn
ru}qtyon"to"xur"vu}}ow"towns—un7"dxuy"soon"—ut
Wusus"txu—su}vusH"txuy"xuqrt"Uys"worts"qnt"sqw
Uys"tuuts7"Out"wu"to"not"—uut"WususH"wu"sqnnot
xuqr"or"suu"Uy—"uxsupt"yn"txu"wytnuss"ov"txu
qpost}us7"]ur"vu}}owsxyp"wytx"Pxryst"ys"rount"to"our
vu}}owsxyp"wytx"txuyr"worts7
Woxn"tous"tustyvy"txqt"ru}yuvurs"xqvu"vor"Pxryst0s
sq{u"rusuyvut"txu"qnoyntynw"ov"txu"Uo}y"cpyryt"qnt
txuruvoru"{now"q}}"txynws"qnt"ton0t"nuut"qnyonu"to
tuqsx"txu—7"Out"txys"q}so"tous"not"—uqn"txqt
ru}yuvurs"sqn"rrynw"vortx"txu"trutx"out"ov"txu—6
su}vus"txrouwx"ruqsonynw7"dxu"ru}yuvurs"to"wxo—
Woxn"wqs"wrytynw"xqt"q}ruqty"xuqrt"txu
pros}q—qtyon"ov"txu"wospu}7"dxuy"{nuw"yts"sontunt
qnt"purxqps"txuy"xqt"no"nuut"ov"qnyonu"to"tuqsx
txu—"—oru"txqn"wxqt"qssortut"wytx"txu"sontunts"ov
txu"wospu}7"dxuy"xqt"on}y"to"stys{"wytx"wxqt"txuy
xqt"xuqrt"vro—"txu"ruwynnynw5"qnt"txuy"wou}t
ru—qyn"yn"txu"con"qnt"txu"Sqtxur7"gxqt"txu
The W ay to Certainty 71

qpost}us"sqw"qnt"xuqrt5"txuy"pros}qy—utH"so"txqt
txosu"wxo"ru}yuvut"—ywxt"xqvu"vu}}owsxyp"wytx
txu—"qnt"wytx"txu"Sqtxur"qnt"Uys"con"Wusus"Pxryst7
Vn"ussunsu5"q}}"txu"trutxs"ov"txu"Pxrystyqn"vqytx
so—u"to"—qn"vro—"txu"outsytu7"dxuy"qru"{nown"to
xy—"on}y"txrouwx"ruvu}qtyon5"qnt"txuy"ruso—u"xys
possussyon"on}y"wxun"xu"qssupts"txu—"}y{u"q"sxy}t"yn
vqytx7"Sqytx5"yns}utynw"wunuynu5"sqvynw"vqytx5
txuruvoru"q}wqys"ynvo}vus"{now}utwu7"[ot"qn"y—6
—utyqtu5"tyrust"{now}utwu5"not"q"{nowynw"vro—"vqsu
to"vqsu5"not"suuynw7"[ot"q"{now}utwu"wqynut"txrouwx
pursonq}"ynvustywqtyon5"qrwu—unt"qnt"proov5
txrouwx"orsurvqtyon"qnt"uxpury—unt7"Out"q
{now}utwu"wqynut"vro—"q"ru}yqr}u"wytnuss7"[ot"unty}
wu"{now"qnt"qs{now}utwu"trutx"yn"txys"wqy"sqn"yt
uvo{u"trust"qnt"styr"up"tyvvurunt"{ynts"ov"uxpury6
unsus"yn"txu"xuqrt7"Ns"}onw"qs"txu"Pxrystyqn"vqytx
rutqyns"yts"unyquunuss5"txys"{nowynw"qnt"qssuntynw
u}u—unt"sqnnot"ru"tunyut7"]n}y"wxun"vqytx"ys"so—6
p}utu}y"rorrut"ov"yts"Pxrystyqn"sxqrqstur"qnt"son6
tunt"sqn"yt"}osu"txys"u}u—unt5"rut"txun"yt"q}so"stops
ruynw"q"ru}ywyous"sonsupt7"Vn"rqtyonq}ys—5"wxysx"sty}}
s}ynws"to"txu"try}owy"ov"Tot5"vyrtuu5"qnt"y——ortq}yty5
txu"vosq}"poynt"ys"no"}onwur"vqytx"rut"wor{s5"not
ru}ywyon"rut"—orq}yty7
dxu"ynqtuquqsy"ov"txu"—utxot"ov"uxpuryunsu"ys
qruntqnt}y"s}uqr"rusqusu"qt"vqryous"ty—us
uvurytxynw"or"notxynw"sqn"ru"tutusut"vro—"yt5"qnt
not"wytxout"zustyvysqtyon7"N}}"ru}ywyons"qwq{un
ru}ywyous"u—otyons"qnt"uxpuryunsus7"Vv"txuy"wyvu"us
txu"rywxt"to"sons}utu"to"txu"trutx"ov"txqt"vqytx"qnt"ov
72 ]qn"Kn{tjrwty"xo"Njrtq

yts"sontunt5"yn"pxy}osopxysq}"}qnwuqwu5"yv"zutw—unts
ov"vq}uu"qru"txu"wrount"qnt"proov"ov"zutw—unts"ov
ruynw5"txun"txu"Outtxyst"sqn"sons}utu"to"txu"trutx
ov"nyrvqnq"vro—"xys"uxpuryunsu5"txu"Zus}y—"—ystys
sy—y}qr}y"to"txu"ruq}yty"ov"xys"sunsyr}u"xuqvun"qnt
txu"bo—qn"Pqtxo}ys"to"txu"rywxt"ov"txu"su}t"ov"txu
vyrwyn"Zqry7"Nnt"q}}"ov"txu—"sou}t"qwruu"wytx"jyn6
zuntorv5"giving this ultimate ground for their faith:
M}"r}t"vr{"}x1"vnrw"Pn{z"}jpt"vr{"mj}"(It is so to —uH
—y"xuqrt"tu}}s"—u27
gxun"wu"wut"town"to"ussuntyq}s5"txys"uxpuryuntyq}
—utxot"rusu—r}us"txqt"ov"pyutys—5"wxysx"ruvursut
txu"ortur"qnt"—qtu"uxpuryunsu"txu"vountqtyon"ov
vqytx7"dxuru"ys"q"tyvvurunsu5"xowuvur7"`yutys—"usut
yts"—utxot"qwqynst"tuqt"ortxotoxy"qnt"tyt"not"yn6
tunt"to"txrow"tourt"on"txu"orzustyvu"trutx"ov"txu
Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon7"Vn"rusunt"ty—us5"xowuvur5"txys
—utxot"rusq—u"qttrqstyvu"rusqusu"txu"surtqynty"ov
vqytx"xqt"ruun"}ost"qnt"txys"wqs"suun"qs"txu"on}y
wqy"to"rustoru"yt7
dxys"—utxot"qrosu"qvtur"Xqnt"rustrystut"—qn0s
{nowynw"sqpqsytyus"to"txu"sunsyr}u"wor}t"qnt"qvtur
xystorysq}"srytysys—"xqt"txrown"tourt"on"txu"trutx
ov"csrypturu7"Vt"ys"q"sxy}t"ov"unru}yuv"rut"xqrrors"txu
susrut"xopu"ov"nuvurtxu}uss"ruynw"qr}u"to"sq}vqwu
so—u"vqytx7"Vt"ys"q"susrut"xopu"txqt"ssyunsu"wy}}
ruspust"txu"ynnur"sqnstyty"ov"txu"sou}"qnt"}uqvu"txu
p}qnt"ov"ru}ywyon"to"sursyst"txuru"untysturrut7"Vt
sonsutus"uvurytxynw—txu"wxo}u"wor}t5"nqturu5
xystory5"qnt"q}—ost"txu"wxo}u"—qn"wytx"xys"sunsus
qnt"pursuptyons5"—u—ory"qnt"y—qwynqtyon5"untur6
The Way to Certainty 73

stqntynw"qnt"ruqson—to"posytyvystys"ssyunsu5"qs"}onw
qs"yt"ys"pur—yttut"to"rutqyn"q"s—q}}5"—otust"p}qsu
so—uwxuru"tuup"yn"—qn0s"xuqrt"vor"vqytx7"do"txys
unt"yt"surrunturs"ru}wqr{"qvtur"ru}wqr{5"q}}owynw
—qn"to"qpp}y"xys"su}v6u—qnsypqtyon"qnt"susu}qryzq6
tyon"uvun"to"txu"}qrwust"pqrt"ov"txuo}owy"qnt
tow—qtyss7"Vn"txu"txouwxt"ov"yts"—ost"sonsystunt"yn6
turpruturs"yt"ys"}uvt"wytx"notxynw"—oru"txqn"q"vuw
unyvursq}"ru}ywyous"sonsupts7

The Appeal of the Gospel

dxys"uxpuryuntyq}"—utxot5"txus5"tous"not"}uqt"to
yts"yntuntut"woq}7"Vt"qttu—pts"to"upxo}t"txu
ru}ywyous"sxqrqstur"ov"ruvu}qtyon"rut"—q{us"yts"son6
tunt"tupuntunt"on"txu"ru}yuvur0s"uxpuryunsu5"txurury
rys{ynw"txu"tqnwur"ov"}osynw"q}}"orzustyvu"trutx7
[uvurtxu}uss5"wu"—ust"ru"wrqtuvu}"vor"txu"ru—yntur
txqt"Pxrystyqnyty"ys"not"ssyunsu"or"pxy}osopxy"rut
ru}ywyon7"dxuru"qru"yntuut"no"ssyuntyvys"proovs"or
pxy}osopxysq}"qrwu—unts"txqt"sqn"—ovu"—qn"to"qs6
supt"txu"wospu}7"Tunurq}}y"spuq{ynw5"txu"ru}u"qp6
p}yus5"qs"wu"xqvu"sqyt5"txqt"you"sqn0t"qrwuu"wytx
so—uonu"wxo"ys"prynsypyq}}y"opposut"to"you7
dxys"ys"uspusyq}}y"truu"yn"txu"qruq"ov"ru}ywyon5
rusqusu"txu"wospu}"prusunts"ytsu}v"qs"stqntynw
qrovu"qnt"yn"opposytyon"to"txu"nqturq}"—qn7"Vt"ys
—uqnt"vor"xy—5"rut"yt"tous"not"qssort"wytx"xys
txouwxts"qnt"yns}ynqtyons7"Vt"s}qy—s"to"ru"ov"tyvynu
orywyn"qnt"txuruvoru"tu—qnts"q"tyvvurunt"yns}ynqtyon
74 The Certainty of Faith

txqn"ys"—qn0s"ry"ryrtx7"Vv"—qn"sou}t"ru"so—pu}}ut"to
qssupt"Tot0s"gort"txrouwx"ssyuntyvys"ruqsonynw5"txu
wospu}"wou}t"not"wqyn"rut"}osu"vorsu7"Vt"wou}t
txurury"ru"rorrut"ov"yts"spusyq}"sxqrqstur5"ov"yts
tyvynu"orywyn5"ov"yts"ru}ywyous"sontunt5"qnt"ov"yts
sqvynw"purposu5"qnt"yt"wou}t"ru"rutusut"to"qn"or6
tynqry5"vq}}yr}u5"rqtyonq}"qnt"xu—qn" level.
If neither rational argument nor moral experience
can explain how the Christian faith comes into
being, the question arises whether there isn't a bet-
ter way in which man may be led to trustingly em-
brace the truth revealed in Christ. And then we
ought first of all to remind ourselves that the
gospel, however it may be viewed and misinter-
preted, despite all opposition, still continues to be
preached from century to century, and regardless of
all differences in interpretation has as its principal
content that Jesus Christ came into the world to
save sinners. This is how the gospel encounters
everyone who has come into contact with it, be it
early or late, be they young or old. Whether he ac-
cepts or rejects it, it comes to him calling for faith
and repentance. This is an unalterable fact. That the
gospel is made known to us, confronting us with the
call to believe and repent, does not depend on our
will but on a decree of God. It is He who ordains us
to be born to Christian parents, raised in a Christian
environment, and without any merit on our part
makes us acquainted with the way of salvation in Christ.
To sum up, there exists one holy, catholic church
which, as the pillar and bulwark of the truth, main-
The Way to Certainty 75

txyns"txu"—ystury"ov"wot}ynussG"Tot"ys"ruvuq}ut"yn
txu"v}usx5"zustyvyut"yn"txu"cpyryt5"suun"ry"txu"qnwu}s5
pruqsxut"q—onw"txu"xuqtxuns5"ru}yuvut"yn"txu
wor}t5"}yvtut"up"ynto"w}ory7"dxu"sxursx0s"wytnuss
wou}t"tourt}uss}y"ru"stronwur"qnt"yts"y—pqst"—oru
powurvu}"yv"q}}"Wusus0"tyssyp}us"wuru"onu5"qs"txu
Sqtxur"ys"yn"Uy—"qnt"Uu"yn"txu"Sqtxur7"dxun"txu
wor}t"wou}t"q}—ost"ru"vorsut"to"sonvuss"yn"spytu"ov
ytsu}v"txqt"Pxryst"wqs"sunt"ry"txu"Sqtxur7"Out"uvun
now5"tuspytu"q}}"yts"ynnur"tyvysyons5"txu"sxursx"ys"q
py}}qr"qnt"ru}wqr{"ov"txu"trutx"q—ytst"txu"wor}t7
gxqt"tyvytus"yt5"no"—qttur"xow"suryous5"ys"q}wqys
}uss"txqn"wxqt"rynts"yt"towutxur"qnt"unyvyus"yt7"dxu
—oru"su}v6sonssyous"qnt"ro}tur"txqt"unru}yuv
ruso—us5"txu"—oru"txu"Pxrystyqn"sxursx"s}osus
rqn{s"qwqynst"txu"so——on"vou7"gxqt"yt"xqs"to"sqvu
qnt"tuvunt"ys"onu"spyrytuq}5"xo}y"possussyon7"Nnt"to
txu"wor}t"yts"sonvussyon"sounts"}y{u"txu"voysu"ov
—qny"wqturs"sqyynw"txqt"txuru"ys"no"otxur"nq—u"un6
tur"xuqvun"wyvun"to"—un"ry"wxysx"txuy"—ust"ru
sqvut"txqn"txu"nq—u"ov"Wusus7
dxu"cpyryt"ov"txu"Yort"ys"opurqtyvu"yn"txqt"son6
vussyon5"sonvystynw"txu"wor}t"ov"syn5"rywxtuousnuss
qnt"zutw—unt7"Tot"tous"not"}uqvu"Uy—su}v"wytxout
q"wytnuss"to"qnyonu"yn"nqturu7"Uu"tous"not"provu
Uys"uxystunsu"qnt"tous"not"—q{u"yt"tupuntunt"upon
our"ynvustywqtyon5"rut"Uu"wytnussus"to"Uy—su}v"yn
our"xuqrts"qnt"sonssyunsus5"txrouwx"nqturu"qnt
xystory5"}yvu"qnt"tustyny5"qnt"txys"wytnuss"ys"so
powurvu}"txqt"no"—qn"sqn"qvoyt"yt5"no"onu"sqn"son6
tynuu"to"rusyst"yt7
76 The Certainty of Faith

There may be all kinds of objections to be raised


against the existence of a personal God. According
to our limited insight there may be numerous
phenomena and events that don't agree with it.
Nevertheless, it is an established fact for every
human being. This is also true of the gospel of
Christ. It exists; it is brought to us in many ways
and in widely differing circumstances; it reaches out
to us at every moment during our life's journey.
And this brings us to the second thing that we
should remind ourselves of: the gospel never stops
making an impression on our hearts. The only in-
fluence proper to the Word of God, considered in it-
self as word, is, by the nature of the case, a moral in-
fluence. It can make an impression without
molding the will and changing the heart. Never-
theless, it is not an empty sound or a clanging cym-
bal. It never returns void but does everything the
Lord has sent it to do. It is in itself a light upon the
path and a lamp unto the feet, even though because
of the blindness of his eyes man may not be able to
see it. Although it does not make his truth depen-
dent on reasoning and proof, the Word of God does
not sidestep them either. Precisely at the moment
when we in our wisdom think we have shover
foolishness, it is revealed as the wisdm--o

of God. It does not direct its ' ; 1 1

science, to our reason to be sh at

accepted as truth or rejected at,


it wish to be judged by our start '

before our tribunals. But it lifts


The W ay to Certainty 77

our insight, asserts itself as a judge of our thoughts


and desires, and summons us with all that we are
and have before His tribunal. It directs itself to the
whole man, to his understanding and reason, to his
heart and conscience, to man in his hidden depths,
to the core of his being, to man in his relationship to
God. It assumes nothing on his part other than that
he is a sinner who needs reconciliation and peace
and salvation. And it promises and gives these to
him by way of faith and repentance.
In both respects the gospel answers to the most
perfect and beautiful idea of religion we can form for
ourselves. For on the one hand it is nothing but the
good news of grace and salvation. It doesn't pose a
single demand—not of age or generation, of race or
language, of class or wealth. It poses no conditions,
it asks nothing, it demands nothing, it is no law but
the opposite of all law. It is broadly human and
completely universal, because it presupposes
nothing but what is common to all men, namely, the
need to be freed from the misery of sin. In accord-
ance with this, on the other hand, the gospel con-
fronts man with nothing but a moral choice, the
choice to accept the gift of God's grace in faith or to
spurn it in hardness of heart.

Sqytx"qs"Rtxysq}"Pxoysu

That the difference between belief and unbelief is


not merely one of insight but of ethical choice is
78 The Certainty of Faith

testified to by the conscience of everyone who lives


out of the gospel. Everyone is from time to time
plagued by a sense of guilt and misery. In the best
and most sacred moments of life the question in-
voluntarily arises whether the gospel might not be
divine truth. An unbeliever is never sure. How can
someone who puts his trust in man believe with un-
shakable certainty that Jesus Christ did not come
into the world to save sinners? Who would risk his
name and reputation, his possessions and life for
such a negative faith? Who would dare, who would
be able to go forward joyfully to martyrdom with
such a denial on his lips? A negation inspires no
martyrs, which shows that its deepest ground and
origin is not in rational reflection, in philosophical
reasoning, or in critical doubt, but in hardness of
heart. And this moral guilt of unbelief again sup-
ports the truth of the gospel. For no religion can be
the true religion if, when I scorn it, it does not in my
conscience make me guilty before God.
The choice for or against the gospel involves a
moral decision because the promises embraced in
the gospel exclude all compulsion. No one is made to
believe against his will. Faith is a function of under-
standing that has been moved to acknowledge the
truth of the gospel by the will. The whole man is
therefore involved in believing—with his reason,
with his will, with his heart, in the core of his being,
in the deepest part of his existence. Knowing him-
self to be guilty and lost, man, in faith, surrenders
himself wholly to God's grace in Christ. He ceases
The Way to Certainty 79

fighting the war he has long been waging in his con-


science against the witness of the Holy Spirit. He
leads all his thoughts captive to the obedience of
Christ. As we said earlier, what is at issue in religion
is always the highest interest, the highest good man
recognizes for himself, for his own life, for the
preservation of his soul. The Christian religion
teaches us that the highest good for man is found in
God alone, in fellowship with Him, in heavenly
salvation. Faith is a thoroughly personal matter, a
retying of the bonds that tie the soul to God, a
renunciation of all creaturely things to place all
one's trust in God, whether in life or death. Faith is
an inattention to the things one sees in order to take
into account those that are invisible but yet eternal
and imperishable.
The nature of faith also makes it clear that
another power is necessary to move man to faith
than the moral influence proceeding from the
gospel. In order to believe, freely, willingly and with
one's whole mind, one needs a new heart and a
changed will. Who can initiate these changes? The
word can serve as medium, and the rational and
moral proofs may serve to recommend faith to
man's conscience. But ultimately, even taken
together, they are not able to effect in man's heart
the faith that turns him away from all created
reality and allows him to put his trust in God alone.
The Scriptures place this witness in the forefront,
prior to all experience. Flesh and blood do not reveal
the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but only
80 The Certainty of Faith

the Father of Jesus, who is in heaven. It is his good


pleasure to hide these things from the wise and
learned, and to reveal them to children.
At first glance this might seem illogical, yet it is
very reasonable. Just as knowledge only occurs
when the known object and the knowing subject
agree, so true knowledge of God is possible only
through faith, which He Himself quickens in our
hearts. No one knows the Father but the Son and to
whom the Son wishes to reveal Him. This should
not discourage us and prompt us to ask: Then who
can be saved? All men, even the most lost and
fallen, are offered the great consolation that in God
all things are possible.
The experience of all believers confirms this
testimony of Scripture. No matter how they may
differ and how their beliefs may diverge, in their
prayers and praises all believers confess before the
face of God that they owe their faith and hope to
His grace alone. They cannot explain how they ob-
tained it in any other way. All origins are hidden in
the veil of mystery; all birth is from darkness into
light. The wind blows where it wills, and you hear it,
but you don't know where it's going. Thus it is with
everyone born of the Spirit of God. The man blind
from birth could only testify, One thing I know:
once I was blind, but now I see. So the man who has
come to Christ in faith sees and judges and
evaluates everything differently. What once was
foolishness to him, he now honors as divine wisdom.
What he rejected as an offense, he now considers his
The Way to Certainty 81

highest joy. Although everything may oppose it,


although everything may seem to contradict it,
although the whole world and his conscience should
accuse him that he has grievously sinned against all
God's commandments and still is inclined to all evil,
the believer can only testify that out of pure grace
God gives him the righteousness of Christ and
reckons it to him, as if he had never sinned, as if he
had himself accomplished the absolute obedience
that Christ has attained for him. Thus, faith is an
act of moral energy, an act of the highest spiritual
power; it is God's work par excellence because it is
His most precious and most glorious gift. Faith
clings to God as though seeing the Invisible,
knowing His love, depending on His grace and
hoping in His faithfulness.

Sqytx"qnt"txu"gort"ov"Tot

From this center the believer feels himself to be in


communion with the saints; he is ever more in-
timately bound to the whole truth, to the full, rich
witness of the apostles and the prophets, to the en-
tire Holy Scriptures as the Word of God. This bond
of the soul to the Scriptures undoubtedly possesses
a myatical character, as does all love and all in-
clinations of the heart, but it is not therefore
irrational and ungrounded. It is true that faith by
no means accepts as divine truth only what it has
itself experienced or can infer from its own inner
82 ]qn"Kn{tjrwty"xo"Njrtq

uxpuryunsu5"rusqusu"txu"u—otyons"wunurq}}y5"qnt
uvun"—oru"so"yn"ru}yuvurs5"trqy}"vqr"ruxynt"vqytx7
Tot0s"ruvu}qtyon"yn"txu"csrypturus"xqs"ruun"wyvun
not"to"q"synw}u"—u—rur"ov"txu"sxursx"rut"to"txu
sxursx"ov"q}}"qwus5"q}}"ty—us"qnt"yn"q}}"syrsu—stqnsus
to"ru"q"soursu"ov"txu"trutx"qnt"q"—uqns"ov"wrqsu7
Out"vqytx"tous"not"r}ynt}y"qssupt"uvurytxynw"txqt
q"pxy}osopxur"or"qrtyst5"sxursx"or"pryust"prusunts"qs
trutx7"[owqtqys"—qny"suu{"to"truqt"q"—ytt}u"wqy5
trqwynw"on"txu"surzustyvu"surtqynty"qnt"so—vort"ov
ru}ywyon"wxy}u"surrunturynw"yts"orzustyvu"trutx"qnt
{nowqry}yty7"dxys"—q{us"ru}ywyon"q"pryvqtu"—qttur5"q
psysxo}owysq}"nuutG"wxqtuvur"so—uonu"sonsyturs
usuvu}"qnt"nusussqry"to"ru}yuvu"qt"q"wyvun"ty—u"qnt
p}qsu"ys"tuu—ut"to"ru"truu7
Out"yv"ru}ywyon"yn"txu"orzustyvu"sunsu"tousn0t"uxyst
or"ys"un{nowqr}u5"yts"surzustyvu"surtqynty"ys"qn
y}}usyon7"Vv"Pxryst"tyt"not"rysu"vro—"txu"tuqt5"q}}
pruqsxynw"ys"vuty}u"qnt"so"ys"q}}"vqytx7"do"ru"qssupt6
qr}u"to"vqytx5"q"wort"—ust"prusunt5"sonvyr—"qnt"suq}
ytsu}v"qs"q"wort"vro—"Tot7"Sro—"yts"vury"ynsuptyon
qnt"qs"txu"buvor—qtyon"ruturnynw"to"csrypturu"qwqyn
s}qryvyut"yt5"vqytx"xqs"q"ru}ywyous"sxqrqstur7"Vt"ys"not
vyrst"q"xystorysq}"{now}utwu"wxysx"}qtur"ys"sup6
p}u—untut"qnt"so—p}utut"ry"trust"or"}ovu7"Sro—"txu
vury"ruwynnynw"yt"ys"q"ru}ywyous"stqtu5"q"prqstysq}
{nowynw5"q"{now}utwu"txqt"qpp}yus"to"—ysu}v5"qn
qppropryqtyon"ov"txu"pro—ysus"Tot"—qtu"to"—u7
Out"susx"qppropryqtyon"ys"possyr}u"on}y"yv"q"wort
prusunts"qnt"sonvyr—s"ytsu}v"to"—u"qs"q"wort"vro—
Tot7"Vv"csrypturu"wuru"notxynw"—oru"txqn"q
The W ay to Certainty 83

nqrrqtyvu"ov"pqst"uvunts"yt"sou}t"ru"qssuptut"on}y"on
xystorysq}"wrounts"ry"qn"xystorysq}"vqytx7"Out
q}txouwx"yt"ys"q}so"xystory5"yn"txqt"xystory"yt"ys"—oru
txqn"q"nqrrqtyvu5"yt"ys"q"wort"vro—"Tot"txqt"so—us
to"—qn"sq}}ynw"xy—"to"vqytx"qnt"rupuntqnsu7"Ns"susx5
yt"sqn"ru"{nown"txrouwx"wunuynu"vqytx7"gxouvur"qs6
supts"yts"tusty—ony"sonvyr—s"txqt"Tot"ys"trutxvu}7
`ro—ysu"qnt"vqytx"qru"sorru}qtusH"txuy"qttruss
txu—su}vus"to"onu"qnotxur7"dxu"—oru"txu"Pxrystyqn
tuvu}ops5"txu"—oru"xu"roots"xy—su}v"yn"txqt"gort5
}uqrnynw"to"{now"yt"ruttur"qnt"to"vq}uu"yt"—oru7"Vn
txu"sq—u"qst"ov"vqytx"xu"q}so"u—rrqsus"Pxryst5"wxosu
}y{unuss"so—us"to"xy—"unqtu}turqtut"yn"txu"csryp6
turu0s"wytnuss"ov"Uy—7
dxuruvoru5"vqytx"ys"not"txu"wrount"txqt"sqrryus"txu
trutx5"nor"ys"yt"txu"soursu"vro—"wxysx"{now}utwu
v}ows"to"xy—5"rut"yt"ys"txu"sou}0s"orwqnH"yt"rusownyzus
txu"orzustyvu5"su}v6sursystunt"trutx7"Sqytx"ys"txu
pqy}"wytx"wxysx"txu"ru}yuvur"trqws"txu"wqtur"ov
}yvu"vro—"txu"wu}}sprynw"ov"Tot0s"gort7"Vn"q}}"pur6
suptyon"qnt"txouwxt5"qwruu—unt"rutwuun"surzust
qnt"orzust"ys"ruquyrut7"Vt"ysn0t"unouwx"vor"txu"sun"to
sxynu"yn"txu"xuqvuns7"Zqn"q}so"nuuts"uyus"yn"ortur
to"suu"txu"sun"ry"yts"own"}ywxt7"Vt"ysn0t"unouwx"txqt
txu"vysyr}u"wor}t"ys"txu"u—roty—unt"ov"txouwxt7
Zqn"q}so"nuuts"q"—ynt"to"vo}}ow"txosu"txouwxts"qnt
rusuyvu"txu—"ynto"xys"sonssyousnuss7"cy—y}qr}y5"txu
ru}yuvur"ys"notxynw"—oru"txqn"q"nor—q}"xu—qn"ruynw
wxosu"uyus"xqvu"ruun"opunut"to"txu"uturnq}"qnt
xuqvun}y"txynws5"wxosu"xuqrt"xqs"qwqyn"}uqrnut"to
unturstqnt"txu"—ysturyus"ov"txu"Xynwto—"ov
84 The Certainty of Faith

Heaven. The Christian does not construct his


knowledge of the truth from faith, but through faith
he penetrates ever deeper into the mysteries of
salvation. The Word of God is always the solid
ground on which he stands, the rock to which he
clings, the starting point of his thought, the source
of his knowledge, the rule of his life, the light on his
path and the lamp for his feet.

dxu"Qy—unsyons"ov"Purtqynty

But the certainty of truth is not enough for a


Christian. He also needs the certainty of salvation.
He will only be able to rest and glory in the freedom
of the children of God when his faith is certain not
only of the object on which he depends but also of
himself. These two kinds of certainty, easily
distinguished, cannot be separated. They are
closely interrelated; the one does not exist without
the other.
In this way faith is like knowledge. A charac-
teristic of knowledge is certainty not only of its ob-
ject but at the same time also of itself. If we really
know something for certain, at the same time we
spontaneously and immediately know that we
know. Genuine, true knowledge excludes all doubt
regarding itself. It reaches this certainty not by
rational argument, and not by self-reflection or
by logical inference; the light that knowledge sheds
on the known object immediately reflects back on
The Way to Certainty 85

itself and expels all darkness. This is also true of


faith. Faith that really deserves the name brings its
own certainty.
Within faith we can again distinguish between
what our fathers called the outgoing and the return-
ing acts of faith, between the shelter-seeking and
the assured trust of faith, between the being and
the well-being of faith. But as fine as these dis-
tinctions may be, they must not be made into
divisions. Faith is not an assemblage, which like a
machine is put together from different parts and
gradually molded into a unit. Nor is it a gift that is
imposed from the top upon our own nature, always
remaining inwardly alien to it. But it is a restoration
of the right relationship between God and man, the
return of the trust a normal child places in his
father. In the state and attitude of the soul which
the Holy Scriptures call faith, certainty is included
by its very nature—certainty first of all regarding
God's promises given us in the gospel, but also cer-
tainty that by grace we too share in these promises.
The latter form of certainty does not come to faith
from the outside; it is not mechanically added on; it
is not joined to it by a special revelation. This cer-
tainty is contained in faith from the outset and in
time organically issues from it. Faith ys"certainty
and as such excludes all doubt. Whoever is stricken
by guilt and crushed and honestly seeks refuge in
Christ is already a believer. To the degree that he
exercises a shelter-seeking trust he also possesses
an assured trust. How else would a sinner convicted
86 The Certainty of Faith

ov"xys"own"wuy}t"uvur"tqru"to"qpproqsx"Tot"qnt
uvo{u"Uys"wrqsu"un}uss"yn"txu"tuptx"ov"xys"xuqrt5
wytxout"ruynw"sonssyous}y"qwqru"ov"yt"xy—su}v5"xu
sxqrut"yn"txu"surtqynty"ov"vqytx"qnt"txu"xopu"txqt
txu"Sqtxur"ov"Wusus"Pxryst"ys"—ursyvu}"qnt"wruqt"yn
}ovynw"{yntnussL
co—uty—us"txys"ys"pysturut"qs"txouwx"txu"synnur5
sonvynsut"}y{u"Rstxur"ov"xys"synvu}nuss5"turns"to"Tot
wytx"txu"worts"on"xys"}yps5"(Nnt"yv"V"purysx5"V
purysx7("dxu"trust"txqt"v}uus"to"Tot"vor"sxu}tur"ys"not
qn"unsurtqyn"uxpury—unt"nor"q"tourtynw"sq}su}qtyon
ov"sxqnsusH"yt"—uqns"stqntynw"on"txu"pro—ysus"ov
Tot"txqt"Uu"wy}}"not"sqst"out"qnyonu"wxo"sryus"to
Uy—"yn"Pxryst"vor"wrqsu"qnt"vorwyvunuss7"dxu
qssurut"trust"ys"txurury"yns}utut"yn"txys"sxu}tur6
suu{ynw"trust7"Nnt"rotx"tuvu}op"towutxur7"dxu
stronwur"txu"sxu}tur6suu{ynw"trust"ruso—us5"txu
stronwur"ruso—us"txu"qssurut"trust7"Nnt"yv"txu"}qt6
tur"ys"s—q}}"qnt"wuq{5"wu"—qy"sonvytunt}y"sons}utu
txqt"txu"vyrst"too"ys"nuuty"qnt"ynso—p}utu7"Sqytx5
txuruvoru5"tous"not"qttqyn"surtqynty"ruwqrtynw"ytsu}v
txrouwx"}owysq}"ruqsonynw"nor"txrouwx"sonstqnt}y
uxq—ynynw"ytsu}v"qnt"ruv}ustynw"on"yts"own"nqturu7
Xqnt0s"Critique of Pure Reason xqrt}y"xu}ps"to
ustqr}ysx"our"surtqynty7"Out"surtqynty"v}ows"to"us
y——utyqtu}y"qnt"tyrust}y"out"ov"vqytx"ytsu}v7"Purtqyn6
ty"ys"qn"ussuntyq}"sxqrqsturystys"ov"vqytxH"yt"ys"yn6
supqrqr}u"vro—"yt"qnt"ru}onws"to"yts"nqturu7
[uvurtxu}uss5"uvun"yn"txu"—ost"sqnstyvyut
Pxrystyqn5"vqytx"ys"ovtun"—yxut"wytx"tourtH"txys
tourt5"xowuvur5"tous"not"orywynqtu"yn"txu"nuw"—qn
The Way to Certainty 87

rut"yn"txu"o}t7"gxun5"yn"txu"}ywxt"ov"txu"cpyryt5"txu
orzust"ov"vqytx"p}qsus"ytsu}v"ruvoru"txu"uyu"ov"txu
sou}5"txqt"sq—u"}ywxt"y}}u—ynqtus"vqytx"qnt"rqysus"yt
ruyont"q}}"tourt7"Wust"qs"txu"Vsrqu}ytus"yn"txu"tusurt
wuru"xuq}ut"not"wxun"txuy"}oo{ut"ynto"txu—su}vus
rut"wxun"txuy"}oo{ut"up"qt"txu"rqysut"snq{u5"so"txu
ru}yuvur"ruso—us"suru"ov"xys"sq}vqtyon"wxun"xu"ux6
pusts"yt"not" from xys"vqytx"rut"through vqytx"vro—
Tot0s"wrqsu7"dxys"surtqynty"ys"qnt"wy}}"q}wqys"ru"q
surtqynty"ov"vqytx5"vury"tystynst"yn"soursu"qnt"nqturu
vro—"ssyuntyvys"surtqynty5"rut"no"}uss"vyxut"qnt"un6
sxq{qr}u"vor"txqt7"Vt"tousn0t"rust"on"xu—qn
ruqsonynw5"rut"on"txu"gort5"txu"pro—ysus"ov"Tot5
txu"wospu}5"wxysx"posus"no"sontytyons"rut"on}y
pros}qy—s"txqt"uvurytxynw"xqs"ruun"qsso—p}ysxut7
N}}"wu"xqvu"to"to"ys"untur"ynto"txqt"qsso—p}ysxut
wor{"qnt"rust"yn"yt"vor"uturnyty7

Purtqynty"q"QqnwurL

]vtun"txu"Pxrystyqn"sxursx"xqs"not"tqrut"to
pros}qy—"txys"rysx5"vruu"wospu}"qnt"xqs"tqy}orut"yt"to
—qn0s"opynyons7"N}ruqty"yn"`qu}0s"tqy"—qny"wuru
qvrqyt"wrqsu"wou}t"ru"qrusut"qnt"—qtu"qn"ossqsyon
vor"txu"v}usx5"txqt"puop}u"wou}t"ruwyn"to"syn"—oru"so
wrqsu"—ywxt"qrount7"Vn"nu—urous"wqys"txu
wospu}"xqs"ovtun"ruun"trqnsvor—ut"ynto"q"}qw5"Tot0s
wyvt"turnut"ynto"q"tu—qnt5"qnt"Uys"pro—ysus"—qtu
ynto"sontytyons7"Vn"txu"bo—qn"Pqtxo}ys"Pxursx"woot
wor{s"xqt"to"so—u"vyrst5"qnt"yn"txu"protustqnt
88 The Certainty of Faith

churches many kinds of experiences were necessary


before one could truly believe and appropriate this
rich gospel of God's grace. The priests or the guard-
ians of the spiritual life only granted believers the
right and the freedom of spirit to believe as the end
product, the fruit of a series of good works or
genuine inner experiences. Faith was separated
from its object—the grace of God in Christ—by a
long list of activities, and it was duty-bound to con-
stant examination of and reflection on its own
development. Seeking in vain within itself and in
the tossing waves of experience that which it could
only find outside of itself in Christ, faith lost its cer-
tainty.
By its very nature and essence faith can find rest
in nothing but a word from God, a promise from the
Lord. Any other ground makes it shaky, because it
is human and therefore shifting and unreliable.
Only a word from God can give life to our souls and
provide an immovable foundation for the building
of our hope. When all human things obtruding be-
tween God's grace and our faith are eliminated, and
when our faith fastens on God's promises directly
and immediately, then faith will be certain and un-
shakable. Then faith no longer rests on a subjective,
changeable foundation but on an objective, abiding
foundation. The unshakableness of the foundation
is conveyed directly to the person who, rescued from
life's shipwreck, plants both feet firmly on it in
faith. When the plant of faith is allowed to take root
in the ground of God's promises, it will naturally
The W ay to Certainty 89

bear the fruit of certainty. The deeper and firmer


the roots anchor themselves in this ground, the
stronger and taller it will grow, and the richer will
be its fruit.

dxu"Ponvyr—qtyon"ov"txu"cqsrq—unts

These promises are offered to us in two forms:


audible and visible, as preaching and as sacrament.
The sacraments are signs and seals of the word and
are therefore subject to the word. Apart from the
word they have no value whatsoever and stop being
sacraments. They cannot, therefore, signify or con-
vey grace that isn't already included in the word
and presented through the word by way of faith.
They also presuppose faith in that word. Anyone
who doesn't accept that word in faith derives
nothing from the sacraments, and by using them he
only leaves himself all the more without excuse.
Sacraments have been ordained only for believers,
for they don't effect what isn't there, but only
strengthen what is already there. They do so by
their very essence, for they are bound to the word
and signs and seals to confirm it.
The sacraments exercise this confirming and
strengthening power in two ways. First, they seal
for the believer the promises of God that He will be
a God unto them and unto their seed. He remembers
His covenant, and He gives them all the blessings of
salvation—the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
90 The Certainty of Faith

Uu"wy}}"not"qrqnton"woot"wor{"ruwun"yn"txu—"rut
wy}}"sqrry"yt"to"so—p}utyon7"cusont5"txrouwx"txu
sqsrq—untq}"sonvyr—qtyon"ov"Tot0s"pro—ysus
ru}yuvurs"qru"strunwtxunut"yn"txuyr"vqytx7"N}onw"wytx
txu"surtqynty"ov"Tot0s"pro—ysus"qnt"txuyr
vu}vy}}—unt5"txu"strunwtx"ov"vqytx"q}so"wrows7"Pon6
ssyousnuss"vo}}ows"ruynw7"do"txu"uxtunt"txqt"txu
sxy}t"wrows"up"ynto"q"—qn5"xu"puts"qwqy"sxy}tysx
txynws"qnt"rypuns"ynto"s}uqr"su}v6sonssyousnuss"qnt
wq}{s"yn"txu"vu}}"}ywxt"ov"{now}utwu7"dxu"u—otyons
rutruqt"ynto"txu"rqs{wrount"qnt"q}}"ov"}yvu"ruso—us
y}}u—ynqtut"ry"txu"stuqtvqst"surtqynty"ov"vqytx7"dxys
onsu"pro—ptut"`qu}"to"sqy"txqt"Tot0s"cpyryt
tustyvyut"wytx"xys"spyryt"txqt"xu"wqs"q"sxy}t"ov"Tot7
Sor"qs"—qny"qs"qru"}ut"ry"txu"cpyryt"ov"Tot"qru
sxy}trun"ov"Tot7

The Fruits of Certainty

dxu"nqturu"ov"txys"vqytx5"txuruvoru5"—q{us"yt
y—possyr}u"txqt"txosu"wxo—"yt"unwrqvts"ynto"Pxryst
wy}}"not"protusu"vruyts"ov"txqn{vu}nuss7"dxosu"wxo
ru}yuvu"yn"rywxtuousnuss"ry"wor{s"q}wqys"suu—"to"ru
qvrqyt"txqt"q"vqytx"txqt"rusts"so}u}y"on"Tot0s
pro—ysus"wy}}"ru"—orq}}y"xqr—vu}7"Out"susx"vuqr"ys
untyru}y"wrount}uss"qnt"yt}u5"vor"yn"q"surtqyn"sunsu
txuru"ys"no"susx"txynw"qs"q"tuqt"vqytx"wytxout"wor{s7
N}}"vqytx5"uvun"nor—q}5"uvurytqy"vqytx5"qnt"sy—y}qr}y
yn"ru}ywyon"txu"so6sq}}ut"xystorysq}5"tu—porq}"qnt
—yrqsu}ous"{ynts"ov"vqytx5"ruqr"vruyt5"rut"vruyt"qvtur
The W ay to Certainty 91

yts"own"{ynt7"Vv"wu"qru"qwqy"vro—"xo—u"qnt"rusuyvu
q"—ussqwu"txqt"our"xousu"or"vq—y}y"xqs"ruun"strus{
ry"tysqstur"qnt"wu"ru}yuvu"yt5"txqt"tous"not"}uqvu"us
unqvvustut7"Vt"y——utyqtu}y"suts"us"yn"—otyon"qnt
sunts"us"spuutynw"xo—u7"dxu"tu—ons5"sqy"txu
csrypturus5"ru}yuvu"txuru"ys"onu"Tot5"qnt"rusqusu
txuy"ru}yuvu"qnt"sqnnot"tuny"yt5"txuy"sxuttur7
Uystorysq}"vqytx5"too5"wxysx"usut"to"rynt"q}}
Pxrystunto—"wunurq}}y"to"txu"trutxs"ov"txu"wospu}5
wqs"not"wytxout"vruyt5"vor"txu"rroqt"sross6sustyon"ov
txu"puop}u"wuru"sqptyvqtut"ry"yt"qnt"prusurvut"vro—
—qny"xorryr}u"syns7"N}txouwx"yt"ys"truu"txqt
xyposrysy"wqs"wytuspruqt"yn"txosu"tqys"qnt"—qny
uvy}s"wuru"so——yttut"yn"susrut5"txqt"xyposrysy"wqs5
nuvurtxu}uss5"q"xo—qwu"pqyt"ry"urror"to"trutx5"qnt
ry"syn"to"vyrtuu7"Vt"surtqyn}y"wqs"no"worsu"txqn"txu
xorryr}u"vrqn{nuss"wytx"wxysx"txu"—ost"qwvu}
qro—ynqtyons"qru"sxq—u}uss}y"so——yttut"yn"son6
tu—porqry"sosyuty7
Ponsuquunt}y5"uvury"vqytx"ruqrs"vruyt"qssortynw"to
yts"orzust"qnt"yts"nqturu7"Qupuntynw"on"wxutxur"txu
orzust"ov"our"vqytx"ys"woot"or"rqt"nuws5"q"pro—ysu"or
txruqt5"q"story"or"prownostysqtyon5"wospu}"or"}qw5"yt
wy}}"tyvvur"yn"sxqrqstur"qnt"so"wy}}"txu"vruyt"txqt"yt
ruqrs"yn"our"}yvus7"Vv"txys"ys"truu"ov"q}}"vqytx5"xow
—usx"—oru"truu"yt"—ust"ru"ov"txu"vqytx"rootut"yn"q
spyrytuq}"runuwq}"ov"txu"xuqrt5"wxysx"tru}y"rusuyvus
txu"wospu}"qs"woot"nuws5"tupuntynw"on}y"on"Tot0s
wrqsu"yn"Pxryst7"Vt"sqnnot"protusu"sqru}uss"qnt"y—6
pyous"puop}uH"yt"ruqrs"vruyt"qssortynw"to"yts"own
nqturu5"vruyt"txqt"w}oryvyus"txu"Sqtxur7
92 The Certainty of Faith

In that fruit the reality, the soundness, the power


of that faith is once again revealed. Experiences and
good works can never prove the truth of faith
beforehand. All genuine experience and all virtuous
works are not the roots, but the fruits of faith. Not
until the promises of the gospel have been ap-
propriated in faith do they exert an influence on our
hearts and lives through our consciousness. The
emotions follow understanding, and the will is led
by both. Faith is the source of emotional life and the
power animating the works of our hands. If faith,
however, does not come first, no genuine experience
and no true good works can follow.
As long as we aren't certain and firm in our faith
and we still doubt, we will continue to experience
anxiety and fear and will not have the boldness and
trust of children of God. We will still be far too
much concerned with ourselves to be able to devote
our attention to works of love toward God and our
neighbor. The eye of the soul remains turned inward
and does not have a broad, liberated vision of the
world. We are still more or less subject to the spirit
of fear. We still feel far from God and do not live out
of fellowship with Him. Secretly we still harbor the
thoughts that we must please Him with our stature
and virtues, and we still act out of legalistic prin-
ciples; we remain servants, not children.
But if in faith we fasten immediately onto the
promises of God and take our stand in His rich
grace, then we are His children and receive the
Spirit of adoption. This Spirit is appropriate to our
The Way to Certainty 93

sonship; it testifies with our spirit that we are


children of God. Then we feel like children; we have
the stature and experience of children and as a mat-
ter of course also do good works, not for wages like
servants, but out of thankfulness.
If we are children, we are also heirs, heirs of God
and co-heirs with Christ. The reversal of the order of
salvation—that is, the separation of faith from its
only proper object—also had the result in the past
that the faithful concentrated more and more on
themselves, meeting together in conventicles to
discuss spiritual matters, leaving the world to its
fate. Pietistic Christians preferred to withdraw
from the turbulence of life into their own intimate
circles. The religious, spiritual life was the only true
life. It shunted all other activity into the
background by deeming it of lesser worth. One was
indeed bound to a spouse, a family, a job in society
and had to devote some attention to them, but one
did so reluctantly. One's life in the world formed a
sharp contrast to one's spiritual life; the former
always seemed more or less to involve serving the
world. In any case, it was life of a lower order. To sit
in quiet contemplation or to relate to the circle of
the faithful what God had wrought in one's
soul—this was really living, this was the ideal, this
was the Christian's real destiny.
Such a conception of the Christian's earthly task
issued from the reversal of the order of salvation
that we mentioned earlier. A Christian was a
sighing, burdened person who could come to cer-
94 The Certainty of Faith

tqynty"qnt"rust"on}y"qt"txu"unt"ov"xys"}yvu"qvtur"q
suryus"ov"ynnur"uxpuryunsus7"Purtqynty"rusq—u"txu
woq}"rqtxur"txqn"txu"stqrtynw"poynt"ov"q}}"xys
stryvynw7"do"ru"sqvut"wqs"txu"orzust"ov"q}}"xys
tusyrus7"ensuru"qrout"xys"own"stqtu5"xu"xqt"unouwx
wor{"}oo{ynw"qvtur"xy—su}v"qnt"}qs{ut"txu"sourqwu
qnt"strunwtx"to"turn"xys"uyus"outwqrt"qnt"qssu—u
txu"wor{"ov"ruvor—ynw"txu"wor}t7"Vt"wqs"suvvysyunt" if
qt"txu"unt"ov"xys"trour}uso—u"}yvu"xu"—ywxt"ru"tq{un
up"ynto"xuqvun7"Uu"pruvurrut"to"}uqvu"txu"uqrtx"to
txu"survqnts"ov"txu"wor}t7
dxys"trqtytyon"ovurusty—qtut"qnt"ovuru—pxqsyzut
txu"onu"txynw"nuutvu}5"wxysx5"on"txu"otxur"xqnt5"ys
ovtun"}qs{ynw"yn"txu"rusynuss"ov"sontu—porqry"}yvu7
gxy}u"txusu"nynutuuntx"suntury"Pxrystyqns"vorwot
txu"wor}t"vor"txu—su}vus5"wu"run"txu"tqnwur"ov
}osynw"oursu}vus"yn"txu"wor}t7"[owqtqys"wu"qru"out
to"sonvurt"txu"wxo}u"wor}t5"to"sonquur"q}}"qruqs"ov
}yvu"vor"Pxryst7"Out"wu"ovtun"nuw}ust"to"qs{"wxutxur
wu"oursu}vus"qru"tru}y"sonvurtut"qnt"wxutxur"wu
ru}onw"to"Pxryst"yn"}yvu"qnt"yn"tuqtx7"Sor"txys"ys"yn6
tuut"wxqt"}yvu"roy}s"town"to7"gu"—qy"not"rqnysx
txys"quustyon"vro—"our"pursonq}"or"sxursx"}yvu"untur
txu"}qru}"ov"pyutys—"or"—utxotys—7"gxqt"tous"yt
provyt"q"—qn"yv"xu"wqyn"txu"wxo}u"wor}t5"uvun"vor
Pxrystyqn"prynsyp}us5"yv"xu"}osus"xys"own"sou}L
Out"txys"tous"not"suwwust"txqt"txu"—uqnynw"ov"txu
Pxrystyqn"ru}ywyon"—qy"ru"}y—ytut"to"txu"sqvynw"ov
yntyvytuq}"sou}s7"dxu"sytuqtyon"qppuqrs"—usx"tyv6
vurunt"to"txosu"wxo"yn"qwruu—unt"wytx"txu"csryp6
turus"qnt"wytx"txu"sonvussyon"ov"txu"buvor—qtyon"to
Zqn"`jy"tx"In{tjrwty 98

not"p}qsu"vqytx"qt"txu"unt5"rut"qt"txu"ruwynnynw"ov
txu"wqy"ov"sq}vqtyon7"dxys"wqy"tousn0t"stryvu"vor
vqytx5"rut"}yvus"out"ov"vqytx7"Vt"ys"txu"wqy"txqt"tous
not"wor{"yn"ortur"to"ru}yuvu5"rut"ru}yuvus"yn"ortur"to
wor{7"cusx"q"Pxrystyqn"xqs"vount"xys"stqntpoynt"yn
txu"pro—ysus"ov"Tot0s"wrqsu"yn"Pxryst7"dxu"voun6
tqtyons"ov"xys"xopu"qru"vyxut5"vor"txuy"}yu"outsytu"xy—
yn"Tot0s"wort5"wxysx"wy}}"nuvur"ru"—ovut7"Uu
tousn0t"nuut"to"sonstqnt}y"uxq—ynu"txu"wunuynunuss
qnt"strunwtx"ov"txu"vountqtyon"on"wxysx"txu
ruy}tynw"ov"xys"sq}vqtyon"xqs"ruun"ruy}t7"Uu"ys"q"sxy}t
ov"Tot"not"on"txu"rqsys"ov"q}}"{ynts"ov"ynnur"ux6
puryunsus"rut"on"txu"rqsys"ov"txu"pro—ysus"ov"txu
Yort7"Nssurut"ov"txys5"xu"sqn"now"vruu}y"}oo{
qrount"qnt"unzoy"q}}"txu"woot"wyvts"qnt"txu"purvust
wyvt"txqt"tussunts"vro—"txu"Sqtxur"ov"}ywxts7
Rvurytxynw"ys"xys"rusqusu"xu"ys"Pxryst0s"qnt"Pxryst
ys"Tot0s7"dxu"wxo}u"wor}t"ruso—us"—qturyq}"vor"xys
tuty7
bu}ywyous"}yvu"tous"xqvu"yts"own"sontunt"qnt"yn6
tupuntunt"vq}uu7"Vt"ru—qyns"txu"suntur5"txu"xuqrt
vro—"wxysx"q}}"txu"Pxrystyqn0s"txouwxts"qnt"qsts
prosuut5"ry"wxysx"txuy"qru"qny—qtut"qnt"wyvun"txu
wqr—tx"ov"}yvu7"dxuru5"yn"vu}}owsxyp"wytx"Tot5"xu"ys
strunwtxunut"vor"xys"}qrors"qnt"wyrts"xy—su}v"vor"txu
rqtt}u7"Out"txqt"—ysturyous"}yvu"ov"vu}}owsxyp"wytx
Tot"ys"not"txu"wxo}u"ov"}yvu7"dxu"prqyur"sxq—rur"ys
txu"ynnur"roo—5"q}txouwx"yt"ys"not"txu"wxo}u"xousu"yn
wxysx"xu"}yvus"qnt"vunstyons7"cpyrytuq}"}yvu"tous"not
uxs}utu"vq—y}y"qnt"sosyq}"}yvu5"rusynuss"qnt"po}ytyss5
qrt"qnt"ssyunsu7"Vt"ys"tystynst"vro—"txusuH"yt"ys"q}so"ov
96 The Certainty of Faith

—usx"wruqtur"vq}uu5"rut"yt"tous"not"stqnt"yrruson6
sy}qr}y"opposut"to"yt7"bqtxur"yt"ys"txu"powur"txqt
unqr}us"us"to"vqytxvu}}y"vu}vy}}"our"uqrtx}y"sq}}ynw5
stq—pynw"q}}"ov"}yvu"qs"survysu"to"Tot7"dxu"Xynwto—
ov"Tot"ys5"to"ru"suru5"}y{u"q"puqr}"—oru"prusyous"txqn
txu"wxo}u"wor}t5"rut"yt"ys"q}so"}y{u"q"}uqvun"txqt
}uqvuns"txu"untyru"touwx7"Sqytx"ysn0t"on}y"txu"wqy
ov"sq}vqtyon5"yt"q}so"ynvo}vus"ovurso—ynw"txu"wor}t7
dxu"Pxrystyqn5"qs"xu"ys"trqwn"yn"csrypturu"qnt"qs
xu"spuq{s"yn"txu"Uuytu}rurw"Pqtusxys—5"stqnts"qnt
wor{s"yn"txys"sonvystyon7"busonsy}ut"wytx"Tot5"xu"ys
q}so"rusonsy}ut"wytx"q}}"txynws7"Ousqusu"yn"txu
Sqtxur"ov"Pxryst"xu"sonvussus"txu"N}—ywxty5"Pruqtor
ov"xuqvun"qnt"uqrtx5"xu"sqnnot"ru"s—q}}6xuqrtut"qnt
sonstrystut"yn"xys"qvvustyons7"Sor"Tot"Uy—su}v"so
}ovut"txu"wor}t"txqt"Uu"sunt"Uys"on}y"ruwottun"con
so"txqt"wxouvur"ru}yuvus"yn"Uy—"sxq}}"not"purysx"rut
xqvu"uvur}qstynw"}yvu7"Nnt"txys"con"sq—u"to"uqrtx
not"to"sontu—n"txu"wor}t"rut"to"sqvu"yt7"Vn"Uys
sross"xuqvun"qnt"uqrtx"qru"rusonsy}ut7"entur"Uy—
q}}"txynws"sxq}}"ru"wqtxurut"towutxur"wytx"Uy—"qs
xuqt7
dxu"xystory"ov"q}}"txynws"prosuuts"qssortynw"to
Uys"sounsu}"towqrt"txu"rutu—ptyon"ov"txu"sxursx"qs
txu"nuw"xu—qnyty5"towqrt"txu"}yrurqtyon"ov"txu
wor}t"yn"qn"orwqnys"sunsu5"towqrt"txu"nuw"xuqvun
qnt"txu"nuw"uqrtx7"Rvun"now5"ry"rywxts5"uvurytxynw
yn"prynsyp}u"ru}onws"to"txu"sxursx5"rusqusu"yt"ys
Pxryst0s"qnt"Pxryst"ys"Tot0s7"Ns"q"pryust"yn"txu"tu—6
p}u"ov"txu"Yort5"xu"wxo"ru}yuvus"txys"ys"{ynw"ovur"txu
wxo}u"uqrtx7"Ousqusu"xu"ys"q"Pxrystyqn5"xu"ys"xu—qn
The Way to Certainty 97

in the full, true sense. He loves the flowers that


grow at his feet and admires the stars that sparkle
overhead. He does not disdain the arts, which are to
him a precious gift from God. Nor does he belittle
the sciences, for these, too, are a gift from the
Father of lights. He believes that everything God
has created is good and that, taken in thanksgiving,
nothing is condemned. He labors not for success and
doesn't work for wages, but he does what comes to
hand, seeing, by means of God's commandments,
though ignorant of what the future may bring. He
does good works without thinking twice and bears
fruit before he realizes it. He is like a flower that
spreads its fragrance unawares. He is, in a word, a
man of God, perfectly equipped to all good works.
And while for him to live is Christ, in the end to die
is gain.