Has Christianity Passed the Outsider Test for Faith?

It is said that Christianity has been passing the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) from the very beginning, and is still doing so as the gospel penetrates non-Christian cultures. Let me respond briefly.

There is a big difference between what takes place in cross-cultural mission work and how reasonable people should evaluate the extraordinary claims of Christianity. I have documented how very superstitious people were in the days when Christianity sprung into existence from the Bible itself, in chapter 7 of Why I Became an Atheist. So I don't see that people reasonably assessed the probability of Christianity in order to accept the claim that they were rationally converted to it. When it comes to the growth of Christianity in the Southern Hemisphere and in Asia right now, Phillip Jenkins has documented in his book The New Faces of Christianity, that the people being converted actually share much of the same superstitious outlook. Superstitious people who share the same outlook can hardly be considered to reasonably assess the extraordinary claims of another superstitious outlook. So these so-called cross-cultural conversions are irrelevant to whether Christianity passes or has passed the OTF.

Additionally, how one person evaluates a religious set of extraordinary claims means nothing to another person, otherwise Islam is passing the OTF since it is the fastest growing religion in the world right now. If Christianity is passing the OTF then so is Islam, which would lead us to conclude they are both probably true, even in their fundamentalist forms. But that cannot be the case given their essential differences. If the successful growth of a religion into other cultures means that a particular religion passes the OTF then many religions have done so, rendering growth as a factor null and void.

The only thing that is relevant is how a person assess the religion he or she was enculturated to believe. How others assess the case should mean little or nothing. The OTF simply asks believers who were raised to believe in their particular religion, or sect within it, to adopt a non-double standard approach to assessing it. Approach your own inherited religious faith with the same level of skepticism you use when assessing other religious faiths.

I have seen nothing that has disabused me of this approach to religion. It's the only consistent and fair way to do so.