A Christian, who accepts his beliefs without evidence, simply on blind faith, will react emotionally instead of rationally to a skeptic’s legitimate doubts. He will demand the skeptic simply accept his beliefs without argument.
This Christian has not removed the barriers of disbelief for the skeptic. In fact, he has erected an additional barrier: one of irrational, anti-intellectualism.
When Peter encouraged us to be prepared to give to every man an answer for the hope we have, he intended us to contend rationally for the faith. Arguments of “I just believe it” or “Because God said it” are not adequate answers.
It is not rational to appeal to God’s sovereignty as authority for a skeptic to believe when the skeptic rejects God’s sovereignty. Paul appealed to Scripture when debating with the Jews. He used reason when debating with the Greeks.
I believe that God gives enough evidence to satisfy a humble believer and not enough evidence for the arrogant skeptic.
Our pursuit should not be for the evidence, though. Our pursuit should be for God. But God gives us evidence to satisfy the intellect he also gave us. God gives us evidence so that we can know him more. Evidence cements our faith. Faith is not believing in something that isn’t there. Faith is believing in the evidence that something is there even if we don’t see it.
It is hard work, but a diligent pursuit of God requires using our minds to find truth. The pursuit of God is not some passive experience. (Kind of like how most people treat Sunday morning church service. They put their lives on autopilot for an hour and a half. Then go home and do their real worshipping in front of their T.V. watching their football team.) Pursuing God means not only knowing what you believe. Knowing what you believe is the easy part. A genuine pursuit of God is knowing why you believe it.
Why is God’s word authoritative? How do I know it’s reliable? Why are there 66 books in the Bible? Did the resurrection actually happen? Why is the bodily resurrection of Jesus important? Why is it important that the Genesis record of Creation is a literal account? How shall we then live? These are some good questions that if we knew the answers to we can actually remove barriers of doubt for some skeptics.
If you go to dictionary.com and type in the word “faith” you get this as the first definition: confidence or trust in a person or thing. When you type in “belief” you get this: something believed; an opinion or conviction.
The problem with the Church today is that some Christians think they have faith when they merely have beliefs.