Clearing the Fog: “Christianity Doesn’t Need Evidence Because Faith is Blind.”

by Sean McDowell

Many atheist critiques of Christianity claim that faith is blind, irrational, stupid. In his book The God Delusion, leading atheist Richard Dawkins asserts that faith opposes reason, and calls faith a “delusion,” which he describes as “persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence” (p. 28).

A common example used to show that the Bible denigrates evidence is the story of doubting Thomas. In The Selfish Gene, Dawkins writes, “Thomas demanded evidence. . . . The other apostles, whose faith was so strong that they did not need evidence, are held up to us as worthy of imitation” (198). Was Jesus repudiating an evidence-based faith?

In the updated Evidence that Demands a Verdict, my father and I point out three problems with this assertion by Dawkins:

First, Jesus predicted his resurrection on multiple occasions in the presence of the disciples. Thomas should not have been surprised at the return of Jesus. Second, Thomas heard eyewitness testimony (evidence) from the rest of the disciples and yet still refused to believe. (The vast majority of scientific knowledge we possess depends upon trusting the conclusions of other scientists, which is true for virtually all disciplines.) Third, Jesus did many miracles during his ministry as proof of his identity. In fact, right after the story of Jesus scolding Thomas, John said the miracles of Jesus were recorded “so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31)

Christianity Values the Life of the Mind

Despite what Dawkins claims, Christianity values the role of the mind, which includes the proper use of reason and argumentation. Jesus said to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind (Mark 12:30). The Lord said to the nation of Israel, “Come now, let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18). Scripture and church history emphasize the importance of the role of the mind in discipleship and evangelism…
 

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Clearing the Fog: “Christianity Doesn’t Need Evidence Because Faith is Blind.”