[Sojourners and Exiles] Abraham: Our Model of Blind Faith?

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Sacrifice of Isaac (1603) by Caravaggio. Image from Wikipedia

As a kid in Sunday school, I learned that Abraham was the father of nations. But more importantly, he was the man commended for great faith in Yahweh as his inclusion in Hebrews 11’s “Faith Hall of Fame” affirms. Why else would he leave the comforts of his home and sojourn to a new land? What other motivation could he have had for being willing to sacrifice Isaac, his son promised in old age?How else could he be counted righteous if not for his faith? Surely his faith was blind since when he accomplished those things, he was simply obeying what God said. All action, no thoughts given. God gave the word, Abraham complied. Right?
Or at least we might be misunderstanding the nature of Abraham’s faith and thus applying it to ourselves wrongly. Did Abraham lose his reason once he followed God? Is that the kind of faith reiterated in the New Testament and one that we as modern Christians should exercise? To answer these questions, we can turn to Genesis 12 and Hebrews 11 for insight into what kind of faith the father of nations had. Basically, Abraham’s decision to leave his land and obey what God commanded was rooted in these two things: God’s promises and character. In my opinion, it is these two interconnected factors that formed the basis for Abraham’s actions. 

Sojourners and Exiles: GUEST POST

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I choose to view the world in a very holistic way. The spiritual and the physical exist equally. Equally as strong, equally as present. That’s my worldview. However, while this deliberate perspective makes me more sensitive to the supernatural, I don’t feel I’ve honed or tended to this spiritual gift. I am by nature an analytical thinker, and that can tempt me to reduce the world to the purely physical.
Travel has changed this in some ways as the developing world, as a cultural whole, often adopts the holistic world view. It’s much easier to see the connection of spiritual and physical here. As a result, I’ve been confronted with several spiritual predicaments: Is it ok to participate in an experience that has spiritual roots if it is also hailed as a cultural experience? What about just observing it? I’m tempted to offer the “but I’m a tourist” defense. After all, one of my primary goals in life these days is flinging myself full measure into every iconic experience.

Sojourners and Exiles

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I am now officially an alien in the United States of America. I’m an alien that sounds American, looks Filipino, and thinks like both.
I’ve been uprooted and transplanted to a land I only know from movies, television, the internet, and of course, the stories of other people. It is surreal being here, like having a vivid dream, and the newness of it all makes my mind explode in the best of ways. I am a child again who has to learn a foreign system that in some sense must become my own.
I now join the ranks of these biblical figures who were sojourners in other lands: Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Joseph, and the Israelites before and after their time in Egypt. In the Old Testament, they are the ger—aliens who do not just pass through but are coming to live for long periods in a land not their own. Scripture teems with examples of sojourners and exiled individuals. Even believers in the New Testament (and by extension, modern-day Christians) must consider themselves strangers in the Earth (1 Peter 2:11).