Quote of the Day by Gary M On Faith

For Christians who believe faith is a gift, Gary M shows your hypocrisy:
Very often when I discuss the claims of Christianity with Christian apologists we get into a dispute over the meaning of the word "faith". We usually arrive at this point because I have made a claim such as this: "Those of us living in modern, educated, western societies are never asked to believe a truth claim by 'faith' except when it comes to the claims of religion."

The Christian apologist will usually object: "We all (Christians and non-Christians) exercise faith every day of our lives, in many different situations! By faith we cross bridges in the morning on our way to work. We do not get out of our car and personally inspect these bridges prior to driving over them. We have faith in the expertise of the engineers who have certified the bridge as safe. Likewise, when we board a plane we have faith that we will arrive safely at our desired destination. We place our faith in the quality construction of the manufacturer of the airplane; we place our faith in the airline operating that airplane that they have performed proper maintenance; and, we place our faith in the pilots of that airplane that they are well trained and that they will operate the plane in a safe, professional manner. Therefore, people living in modern, educated, western societies exercise faith in many areas of their lives, not just in the practice of their religion."

Based on the above, the apologist may give this short summary: "Faith is trust based on past performance."

I don't buy it.

That is not what most Christians mean by "faith" when they invoke this term regarding their belief in the supernatural claims of Christianity. They may incorporate some of the above into their concept of "faith" but the above definition leaves out a key component of Christian "faith". And that key component is this:

"Faith is a gift from God. It is not the product of one's own endeavors (works); it is not the product of one's use of his or her own intelligence, decision-making, or maturity."

Isn't that exactly how the Apostle Paul describes faith in his letter to the Ephesians???

When non-Christians cross over a bridge to go to work in the morning, they do not claim to be exercising secret knowledge gifted to them by an invisible Being to make it safely to the other side? When non-Christians board an airplane, they do not claim to be exercising secret knowledge gifted to them by an invisible Being to make it safely to their destination. It is therefore clear that the term "faith" used by Christians in relationship to the supernatural claims of their religion is not the same "faith" they exercise to cross a bridge or to board a plane. In the latter situations, they are exercising trust based on past performance. In the former situation, they are exercising wishful thinking regarding the unproven existence of an invisible supernatural being who gifts them secret knowledge and powers.

Christian faith is not simply trust based on past performance, my friends. Christian faith is really this: trust based on the reality of magic---and modern, educated people should not believe in magic!