On another thread (unlisted and locked, so I won’t link back to it), a poster responded to an atheist contributor with the following quote:
A lot of debate about who and who did not originally say this quote ensued, but I’m posting here with hopes that we can avoid revisiting that conversation, and instead focus on a topic that I saw reflected in the quote, but also in quite a few other posts. My apologies if this has been addressed before, but I couldn’t find such a thread.
I would propose, for this discussion, that the definition of “faith” has become something other than the biblical and traditional definition, and that this new definition is a harmful one.
The definition that many Christians seem to hold, and which atheists assume is the default Christian definition of faith, seems to be something along these lines:
Faith is a belief in God without a requirement for proof of his existence.
It seems that the biblical and traditional definition is this:
God can be proven from human reason.
God has established himself as trustworthy.
Therefore, faith is a belief in things we cannot prove, but which a trustworthy God has revealed as true.
For the sake of discussion, I recognize that faith is one of the theological virtues, given freely by God, which makes it easier to accept and believe truth. But the application of this grace is applied in the manner I describe above, not toward a belief in God absent of or contrary to any evidence, reason or proof.
There’s a lot more that can be said here, but I’m leaving that to the development of the conversation. I hope that any responses can be based on documentation from Scripture or Church teachings. Please let me know if I can clarify.