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Faith Is Holding On To Reality — All of Reality

Faith Is Holding On To Reality — All of Reality

I’m one week out of foot surgery, correcting an unusual tendon problem along the outside of my right foot. It’s not the world’s most painful surgery and it’s far from the scariest diagnosis, but given what it takes to recover, it could be the most disruptive of all outpatient surgeries. I was completely bound to my bed the whole first week, and I’m emerging only gradually now. So I really hope my surgeon is right when he says this should…

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Why Hebrews 11:1 Doesn’t Mean Faith Is Without Evidence

Why Hebrews 11:1 Doesn’t Mean Faith Is Without Evidence

Edited and republished from a post on November 15, 2013. Jerry Coyne’s recent Slate article on science and faith gives another chance to clarify the contentious meaning of “faith.” In that article he presents three religious and one putative scientific usage of the word, then comments, The three religious claims (Christian, Jewish, and Muslim, respectively) represent faith as defined by philosopher Walter Kaufmann: “intense, usually confident, belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to command assent from every reasonable…

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What Is Faith? (Facebook Video)

What Is Faith? (Facebook Video)

The latest in my “Contentious Questions (Because some questions just are that way)” series with The Stream. Christianity is all about faith in Christ, right? But what is faith, anyway? The definition is more controversial than you might have thought. This talk is based on an article at The Stream. Image Credit(s): Patrick Fore, Unsplash.

Okay, You’re Right: There’s No Evidence For Faith (Original Thinking Series)

Okay, You’re Right: There’s No Evidence For Faith (Original Thinking Series)

Republished from January 29, 2014.  Part of the extended series Evidence for the Faith I thought I was about to launch into a series on evidence for the Christian faith. Recent discussion here tells me there’s one more preliminary step to take first, however. I haven’t yet defined just what it is I’m about to provide evidence for. You see, there’s one sense in which the New Atheists are right: there’s no evidence for faith. Except they’re only right to…

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No, Atheists and Skeptics: Christian Faith Is Not a Failed Epistemology

No, Atheists and Skeptics: Christian Faith Is Not a Failed Epistemology

Is faith a failed way of knowing? I keep hearing from atheists and skeptics that “faith is a failed epistemology.” What they mean is that if religion is something we know by faith, then we don’t know it at all, because there are too many ways to go wrong in knowing “by faith.” Now, if faith were indeed an epistemology — a way of knowing, in the sense that they’re talking about there — they would be right. It’s a…

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How John Loftus’s The Christian Delusion Fails: Part One

How John Loftus’s The Christian Delusion Fails: Part One

Book Review: The Christian Delusion John Loftus’s Facebook page lit up recently after I answered his question about going to church. Several of his friends challenged me to dig in to the meat of Loftus’s work. I had two of his books on my “guilt shelf” (books I own that I know I really ought to read), so I dove into one of them: The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails. My conclusion: there actually is some meat here, some things worth thinking…

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An Open Letter Of Hope To Gregory Magarshak, Man of Many Questions

An Open Letter Of Hope To Gregory Magarshak, Man of Many Questions

Greetings, Gregory! It’s been more than five years since you were on this blog, so when I met you in San Antonio last week, I didn’t realize it was you. We didn’t exchange our last names, so you didn’t know it was me, either. I had trouble sleeping after our conversation, though, which I think had something to do with my unconscious trying to wake up a memory in my conscious mind, and early last Saturday morning I realized with quite…

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Christians Are Called to be Great

Christians Are Called to be Great

While I learn my new position as senior editor with The Stream, I’ll  be re-posting older, “evergreen” blog posts that were written on an older blogging system and aren’t directly accessible from this one. This one was originally published in 2005. It’s a long study, admittedly. It’s also been extremely influential in my own thinking and in others’ from around the world. Called to be Great This message is intended primarily for people who don’t think it’s for them: those who will…

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Don’t Pray for Patience

Don’t Pray for Patience

There’s a common saying among Christians: “Don’t pray for God to teach you patience–you won’t like what he’ll put you through to learn it!” I don’t think much of that saying. It makes God look like a nasty schoolmaster, for one thing. It’s also the wrong reason. That is, I agree with the advice, “Don’t pray for patience.” I just think there’s a far better reason for it. Lessons from experience I think I have a bit of background from…

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