What is Faith?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Robert Pennock and the definition of "faith."

Robert Pennock is the author of "Tower of Babel-The Evidence against the New Creationism." and professor of philosophy at Michigan State University. As such one would have expected him to have more carefully researched his understanding of the crucial term "faith" in this debate. In his article in "Debating Design" called "DNA by Design" he critiques the writings of Stephen Meyer. On p139 of that volume he says the following:
[The context is the criticism of Meyer for his enthusiam for so called "evidences" and Meyers criticism of the great capitulation of biological natural theology where intelligent design become undetectable except through the eyes of faith.]

"Natural Theology, from this perspective, misunderstands the essence of religion in trying to emulate the natural sciences. The very definition of faith and its religious significance lies in believing without evidence, or even in spite of evidence to the contrary."

This is exactly the same view almost word for word that Richard Dawkins has of faith. In a biologist is could be excused but in a philosopher it is shocking.
This is a serious misunderstanding of the nature of Christian faith.

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