Yesterday I was reflecting on Dr John Lennox’s concerns as Christians add fuel to the fire of Richard Dawkin’s faulty logic. Faith, by his definition, is knowingly trusting in something which cannot be proven – believing against reason. Yet Lennox yearns for people to understand that the faith is always a response to fact, and the Christian faith is firmly founded on trustworthy facts – not least the resurrection of Jesus. Yesterday I shared his concern over the “leap in the dark” language used in some Christian circles as a very poor explanation of faith. Today I’d like to share his second concern.
2. An over-emphasis on faith as a gift given from above. Now it would be very easy for some readers to dismiss this, or to get into a theological slanging match. I certainly don’t want to take sides or position this site on one side or the other of the debates this touches on. Whether we agree with his own position or not, I think we must engage with Dr Lennox’s concern. Could it be that an over-emphasis on faith as a gift received is inadvertently undermining the truth that Christianity is founded on fact, not least the fact of the resurrection of Jesus? Could it be that internal theological debates undermine the presentation of the gospel to a culture now influenced by new atheism? Could it be that irrespective of our stance on the so-called “free-will” debate, that we need to consider underlining, rather than undermining, the facts on which our faith response is built?
We preach the faith. We preach for faith. Obviously there is much to ponder in a world influenced by a whole smorgasbord of thinking, from the clear to the fallacious and deceptive.