Continuing our discussion from last week, fideism is the claim that belief comes before reason, that one cannot “think” rightly about God until one has made a faith commitment to God.
For many atheists, this whole approach of believing without evidence is a head-scratcher.
They think, Why would you just dive in like that? What if you’re wrong? How can you force yourself to believe if you really don’t? And what about evidence that seems contrary to your position — you just ignore it all? Bury your head in the sand?
Fideism tends to reinforce for the atheist the old saying by Mark Twain:
Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.
My opinion (since this is in fact my blog 🙂 ??
I think fideism is misguided, especially in its strong forms.
I remember sitting with the Free Thinker’s Club at a university in California a few months ago. They tried to make me admit that I believe in God without any evidence or reasons for doing so.
So when I gave them my evidence and reasons, and actually considered their contrary arguments, they responded much like the Athenian philosophers of Acts 17:
We want to hear you again on this subject.
Friends, atheists are made in the image of God. Many are sincerely concerned about finding truth. Right there is your common ground, a basis for dialog.
We may not be able to provide perfect arguments for God’s existence and our belief in Jesus. But that doesn’t mean we have no arguments at all. In fact, we have some darn good ones.
And it is these arguments along with the confident but humble manner in which we present ourselves that may gain a hearing from our atheist friends and opponents.