Tom Gilson

Dangerous Christianity: “Evidence Supports Faith”

Lydia McGrew on dangerous Christianity:

I find myself entirely out of sympathy with the idea that Christianity is safe and respectable only insofar as it is utterly separated from evidence and believed by a leap of faith. I find that the hatred (there is really no other word) of certain groups of people for Christianity is kept at bay so long as the Christian tells everyone, in essence, “It’s okay, you can quietly despise me. My faith is entirely separated from science, believed by faith, and makes no claim on your reason. If you don’t feel what I feel, if you don’t make the leap I’ve made, then there’s nothing for us to say to each other. My God is indetectable by science or history. He’s a tame lion.”

But let the Christian for one moment imply that there is evidence, whether in the form of evidence for design in the bacterial flagellum or evidence for miracles in the early testimony of the apostles, and the wrath of all the furies comes down upon him. Sometimes it comes from his own! There is no one quite so angry at one Christian as a Christian academic who has made his faith safely neutered and then hears his Christian brother declaring that evidence supports faith. But from the secularists as well, who no longer consider the evidentialist Christian, or his God, to be safe. Now, they must heap contempt upon him. Now, they find him dangerous.

I’d rather be dangerous. And good for the advocates of Intelligent Design for asking us to consider the possibility of a detectable designer.

Bold-font emphasis added. Via her husband Tim McGrew on Facebook, with permission. I’m told this was also recently published in Salvo.


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6 thoughts on “Dangerous Christianity: “Evidence Supports Faith”

  1. Well she is certainly right that we have a detectable designer. He is detectable in that there is something rather than nothing. He is detectable where life came from non life, order from chaos, consciousness from unconsciousness, reason from unreason.

    She is even more right that those who claim to have evidence are subject to the scorn of those that don’t believe. However, I think that it’s anther related claim that works up the opposition even more. The claim that through this evidence we have the truth. What is ironic though about the ire that this claim inspires is that everyone makes it though few admit it.

    In practice, everyone’s worldview denies the validity of everyone else’s worldview. Everyone claims to have the truth. You can’t practice Judaism and Islam. You can’t be a Hindu and practice Taoism. You can’t be an atheist and a Christian. Worldviews are all encompassing sets of beliefs the practice of which excludes the validity of any other. We all make exclusive truth claims. Christians are unique only in that they (though sometimes badly) admit it.

  2. Christians are unique only in that they (though sometimes badly) admit it.

    I don’t think this is true. Muslims do it. Past athiests have done it. Being proud of affirming 12 clearly mutually exclusive things before breakfast (and using this as a moral stick to beat down those who will not) out of a sense of goodwill is peculiar (though not unique) to aspects of modern thinking.

  3. True, Islam does but no one noticed until recently and even now few will see fit make much of it. Christianity though is roundly and publicly criticized for its exclusive claims.

  4. BillT –

    She is even more right that those who claim to have evidence are subject to the scorn of those that don’t believe.

    No kidding! Look how the Discovery Institute treats those who claim to have evidence of evolution, for example.

  5. I’m in favor of this general concept–though I’m not as on board with a lot of the particulars of the ID movement as many other Christians seem to be.

    My suspicion has always been that many secularist groups have always been okay with “tolerance” by the (completely weird) definition of “we’re all going to pretend that we don’t disagree about things”. Rather than the traditional (and much more sane) “we should always respect the person, even while passionately disagreeing with his/her views”.

    But, lately, the writing seems to be on the wall that this isn’t quite enough, either. The more militant groups still pay lip service to “respecting religion”, as long as no one mentions it outside the home or tries to live out parts of it that contradict the secularists’ idea about how people should live.

    It seems to me that this definition of “tolerance” is within a few degrees of a full 180º.

  6. Here are five dangerous ideas:

    1. Intelligent design is the best explanation of life’s apparent design.

    2. Intelligent design is the best explanation for the unique fitness of light.

    3. Intelligent design is the best explanation for the unique chemistry of the universe.

    4. Intelligent design is the best explanation for the unique chemistry of life.

    5. Intelligent design is the best explanation at present to resolve the so-called “chicken and egg” problem (origin of life).

    And, I have five more beginning with,

    6. Intelligent design is the best explanation for the genetic code.

    BTW personally I see ID as more of a meta-scientific philosophical explanation than a scientific theory.

    What do you think of my list so far?

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