I recently came across apologist Greg Koukl and his Stand to Reason ministry. But I was fascinated by his article “Tactics for Atheists.” Koukl is digging into (and exposing) strategies for turning Christians into atheists—that he found in a book titled A Manual for Creating Atheists.
One key is that the author of that book has defined faith as “belief without evidence” and says that people speak of faith when they don’t “have enough evidence to justify holding a belief.” With this definition in mind, atheists can then confront Christians and lay out how stupid they are to have “faith.”
It’s true that one of the secondary definitions of faith in Webster’s dictionary indicates a sort of false hope (as in “held faith that her missing son would return someday”). But as Koukl points out, the Bible doesn’t speak of faith in this way; rather, faith in the Bible is “a step of trust based on evidence.” And he lists a few of the many Scriptures that back this up. For example, the “many convincing proofs” of Acts 1:3; how Paul “reasoned with” people, “explaining and giving evidence” (Acts 17:2, 3); etc.
Sadly, some Christians do tend to think in terms of a fuzzy sort of “ya just gotta have faith,” as far as their testimony. And some Christians aren’t able to give real evidence for what they believe. I encourage readers to learn from the cold-case homicide detective J. Warner Wallace, who is a former atheist and, of course, an evidence expert.