What sort of faith do you have? I’ve maintained for a long time that a Christian’s faith can’t possible be faith ‘contrary to the evidence’, as many atheists would have it, because that would require us to have less faith in the event of an answered prayer or whatever.
Thankfully, someone way cleverer than me has pulled together a little summary, together with lovely little pictures, to explain what different people mean when they say ‘faith’. I’ll retell it here, but if you want the original click to see the original Four Types of Faith. In each case, Christianity is a chair and sitting on it is our act of faith.
- Blind faith is as if we’re approaching the chair wearing a blindfold; we can definitely sit in it, but we can’t tell if there aren’t better chairs everywhere else, or if the chair’s on a conveyor belt about to tip us into a cauldron of boiling oil. This is not good faith.
- Irrational faith is the faith the daft atheists (as opposed to the not daft ones, I’m not caricaturing here) say Christians have; chucking reason over our shoulder we intentionally sit on what we know is a broken chair which isn’t just foolish, it’s dangerous.
- Warranted faith is faith based on evidence; it’s the sort of faith you and I use every moment of every day. I have faith that the pavement won’t randomly turn into jelly today, yet I have no evidence to disprove that theory. We look at the foundations of the chair, observe it to be stronger, more reliable, with a better creator, and safer than all the other chairs, and sit confidently in it.
- Biblical faith is faith which is based on evidence, yet with the catalyst of the Holy Spirit. I put something up on the blog a bit ago showcasing some straightforward evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ; I’m reasonably sure it was seen by at least one non-Christian, yet I didn’t get any responses saying ‘I believe!’ Why not? Because the Holy Spirit didn’t awaken that faith. It’s as if we can see the chair but we know it’s been made by someone we hate more than anything else, so out of spite we refuse to sit in it until he comes over and gives us a hug, reassuring us that he’s actually a pretty nice guy. And his chair’s really comfortable actually.
- Burner: A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist? (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)
- The Case for Christ – An Atheist’s Nightmare (cheviceunited.wordpress.com)