On the Alleged ‘Blind Faith’ Passages in the Bible
by Abraham Mathew
The word ‘faith’ is the atheist’s favourite cudgel. In every theist-atheist debate, there comes a moment when the atheist will describe himself as being on the side of reason, while painting his opponent as being a man of faith. But to understand why ‘faith’ is so often thrown around as a pejorative term, we need to look at how these atheists define it.
In his The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins defines faith as “blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence,” which makes it a “form of mental illness.” He further calls it “the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence.” Peter Boghossian, in his A Manual for Creating Atheists, gives three definitions of faith, namely pretending to know things one doesn’t know; belief without evidence; and an irrational leap over probabilities.
Now, if any of these definitions are true of biblical faith, it would be true that biblical faith is indeed opposed to reason. And the opponents of the Christian faith attempt to demonstrate just this when they cite several biblical passages which allegedly present this notion of a blind, irrational faith that considers no evidence whatsoever.
This article is intended as a response to such challenges, although I will not be approaching them in the way that most apologists do- by first defining what the Bible means by the word faith (or pistis in the Greek) and then giving examples of passages that support this definition. Instead, I shall take a more offensive approach by tackling some of the most common alleged ‘blind faith’ passages to see whether they actually fit the atheist’s definition of faith. Only then will I discuss, briefly, a biblical definition of faith that fits these and all the other passages that discuss the issue.
So without any further ado, let us examine these passages that allegedly promulgate blind faith…
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