Faith is one of those words that gets thrown around and I firmly believe that many people don’t understand the definition of faith. Faith, simply put, is trusting in something or someone based on evidence. A while back there was an exchanged between Dr. Richard Dawkins and Dr. John Lennox on the existence of God. While Dawkins was criticizing those with faith, Lennox asked Dawkins “Do you have faith in your wife?”.
That small question made Dawkins pause because I believe that he had the realization that faith, even if associated with Christianity, is not blind. Rather, faith is something that is based on substance, evidence, and reality.
When I was in my first public debate I had brought up the subject of faith and mentioned that I had faith in my wife, but when I first met her I did not. Reason being is that I didn’t know her, there was no evidence that she was trustworthy or that I should put faith in her. Christians ought to look at faith in God in the same way.
We believe in God and have faith in God based on evidence; it isn’t blind. It can be due to morality, the beginning of the universe, or the inner-witness of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of the rationale, there is something a Christian is basing his or her belief in.
How does this apply to atheism, you ask? Well, quite simply, if an atheist believes that there is no God or that “lacks belief” (which is the same thing), they are trusting in the data that they perceive. In other words, they have faith.
Now some atheists attempt to shift the burden of proof by saying they merely lack belief, but then they will turn around make statements like “God doesn’t exist” or “Christians are foolish for believing in God”. But if that’s the case, then they are implying that they believe that there is no God. After all, why is it a silly notion to believe in God if you affirm his existence?
I’ve went round and round with atheists about this but the fact of the matter is each side (theist and atheist) has beliefs and varying evidence to support that belief. What we ought to do is weigh the evidence and see what side holds more water. I’ve never seen a positive argument that ends in “therefore atheism is true” and I probably never will. Reason? Well, frankly it is because atheism is incoherent with what we see in the natural world.
Everyone has faith; but it is the evidence behind it that really matters.
Grace and Peace