lundi 21 mai 2012

Answering Skeptics

I'd like to share something from a catholic apologist.
I liked what i read and i think that it will interest some of you.
May God richly bless you in Jesus name.
Please feel free to also Check My Book here.
Today, it is popular not to believe in God. Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have both written best-selling books explaining why belief in God is a fool's game.

Faith, they say, is a humbug.

Why do they have this attitude?

In part, it's because Christians don't define terms very well. Ask three Christians what faith is and you'll get four different answers. Everyone talks about it; no one knows exactly what it is. They just say you gotta have it, and it's not something we get on our own - it's a gift.

That doesn't help people like Dawkins and Hitchens, scientists who make their livings by investigating facts, not feelings.

So, let's start with something that WILL help them.

In its simplest form, faith, hope and love are each a kind of knowledge.

Faith is our response to knowing who a person is.
Hope is our response to a positive message from a trusted person.
Love springs from our intimate knowledge of this trustworthy, hope-inspiring friend.

Faith is NOT a blind leap.
Faith is evidence-based.
We commit acts of faith every day.

The simple act of ordering a hamburger at the local fast food joint is an act of faith.

Think about it.

When you drive down the road, hungry, you stop at a particular store because it advertises itself as being able to supply food. Do we KNOW that it will be able to provide?

Not really. Perhaps the sign is wrong (new ownership this morning has turned it into a hardware store and they haven't had time to change the sign).

Once we get inside, we see a menu, people eating food, plates, forks, napkins, condiments, and someone ready to take our order.
But can they supply food? We don't honestly know that they can.
Perhaps the previous customer just got the last hamburger and fries.
Perhaps the cook has just gotten sick as we walked in, and is no longer capable of preparing the meal.
Perhaps the cook is incompetent and the meal will be inedible when we finally get it.

Yet we give our money to the man behind the counter BEFORE we have even received the food, tasted the first bite.

That's an act of faith. It is based in the evidence of our senses of sight, sound, smell, the understanding of what we see, the conclusions we draw from all of these facts.

Faith is the sure knowledge that someone can be trusted. When we are speaking of God, faith is two things at once: it is the ability or power to know this fact about God: He can be trusted. It is also the daily choice to act on that fact. God sends us the power as a free, unmerited gift, but faith is never a blind leap. It requires evidence, facts.

Accurately predicting what a person will do based on what we know of him: this is an act of faith. For the most part, our knowledge of a person is founded in other people's testimony. We don't know whether the banker is honest or the mechanic reliable. Someone told us. We trusted that person to know.

Similarly, the power to know that God can be trusted is based in what He has revealed about Himself. The deposit of Faith, that is, all the facts and historical events through which God has revealed Himself to us, is part of what empowers us to trust Him. That is what we mean when we say "Faith is the evidence of things not seen" (Heb 11:1). It doesn't mean no one has seen the evidence, or that there isn't any evidence. It means the body of evidence that shows us God is faithful is so vast that no one person has seen all of
it with his own eyes. This evidence is called Providence. Faith is based on this evidence.

Is this so different from what the scientist does?

After all, has he performed EVERY experiment upon which his science is based? No, he hasn't. He reads journals - peer-reviewed journals - in which he trusts that his peers are competent.
He trusts the ones reporting the experiment have accurately reported the facts. He trusts that the peers reviewing the work have correctly discerned their veracity. He commits acts of faith every day or he could accomplish nothing.

Science advances upon faith just as surely as theology does.
The only difference is who we trust.
Scientists tend to trust other scientists.

Christians trust a group of Jews, the prophets of the Old Testament, the apostles of the New Testament.
"But how can you possibly believe or trust the stories of 'miracles' and 'prophecy' that those dead Jews so delighted in telling?" asks the skeptic.

That's the subject of our next message...

Until Then,
God Bless

by Steve Kellmeyer

1 commentaire:

  1. ths bro! this article just increase my interest in apologetics....! we no lnger have to be threatened by the atheists! Michel