Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen and yet Believe
by Tim Barnett
Despite popular opinion, faith isn’t believing without evidence. In fact, it’s the opposite. Biblical faith is trusting in what you have good evidence to believe is true. And there is plenty of biblical evidence to back this up.
There are some people, however, who have attempted to use the Bible to defend this false understanding of faith. The most common passage cited is the story of the risen Jesus appearing to Thomas. Outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins writes,
Another member of the religious meme complex is called faith. It means blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence. The story of Doubting Thomas is told, not so that we shall admire Thomas, but so that we can admire the other apostles in comparison. Thomas demanded evidence…. The other apostles, whose faith was so strong that they did not need evidence, are held to us as worthy of imitation.
We’re told that Thomas demanded evidence and the other disciples didn’t. Moreover, we should denounce the reasonable faith of the former and imitate the blind faith of the latter. After all, Jesus said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jn. 20:29). So, it is argued, the kind of faith endorsed by the Bible is baseless and unwarranted.
Ironically, this text actually teaches the exact opposite of what Dawkins and others believe. This is fairly easy to demonstrate…