Atheism on Trial– Part Ten

Atheism on Trial– Part Ten February 24, 2022

Q. Sometimes faith is pitted against reason and logic, but clearly you think this is wrong. We are not called to blind faith, spitting into the prevailing wind of contradictory evidence. Faith involves trusting in the truths for which there is good evidence. But as you know, especially in some more Evangelical contexts there is a strong anti-intellectual ethos. It’s like my old granny who only had an eight grade education. When I went off to seminary she gave me some advice— don’t be so open minded that your brains fall out, and don’t become an educated fool that jettisons your basic trust in God. Well in some respects I thought this was excellent advice, but she feared over-intellectualizing the faith. When you encounter this sort of attitude how, as a logical and rational person who believes in education and in science, how do you respond?

A. I exercise faith every time I get into a car, every time I board an airplane, every time I eat a meal. This isn’t illogical. It is logical. I trust the food isn’t poisonous, the car isn’t wired for a bomb, and the plane doesn’t have the wings taped onto the fuselage. Having faith is inherent to being a human. The faith, however, needs to be based in logic and truth. That is why intellect is important. We don’t worship intellect, but we do see it as God’s tool to help us discern truth from fiction.

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