Faith, Evidence, and Credibility

A recent Guardian article on the psychological/physiological nature of belief proves once more that the widespread understanding of faith is misunderstood:

Faith has long been a puzzle for science, and it’s no surprise why. By definition, faith demands belief without a need for supporting evidence, a concept that could not be more opposed to the principles of scientific inquiry. In the eyes of the scientist, an absence of evidence reduces belief to a hunch. It places the assumptions at the heart of many religions on the rockiest of ground.

This seems to be a typical tactic among the naturalist crowd. If you claim that the required evidence is absent, you never have to deal with it. In short: ignore it, and it will go away.

In fact, belief itself requires evidence. Without evidence, there is no belief, be it science or faith. Even if I make something up in my mind, and subsequently believe it, the made up something serves as evidence for my belief. What validates a belief is the credibility of the evidence. This is what should be continually tested, not the apparent lack of evidence.

As one who has faith in Christ, my evidence for belief is found in God’s general revelation, his written word to us, and the internal witness of the Spirit (this last is the most difficult for establishing credibility among those outside the faith, but it is highly credible to the believer). The naturalist who claims that these evidences do not exists without thouroughly examining their credibility is nothing more than a lazy naturalist.