Street Epistemology, as readers of this site know by now, is a method of getting strangers to think about how they know what’s true. What methods do they use to discover the truth? And how do they know those methods are valid?
Now Hank Hanegraaff, the Christian radio host of “Bible Answer Man,” is warning Christians that street epistemologists are dangerous, in part because those guys try to “make Christians look foolish.” (He said it, not me.)
Hanegraaff accused atheist evangelists of attempting to “make Christians look foolish,” but said that people of faith have good reason to trust that what they believe is true.He said that atheists who are “blind” and “bigoted” reject clear evidence of a designer “without so much as taking a closer look.”
It’s a strange thing to hear anyone criticize an approach that doesn’t advocate atheism but merely asks people to think more about how they know certain beliefs are true. Hanegraaff is basically admitting that critical thinking only gets in the way of Christian faith, since a belief based on reason and logic would survive any amount of questioning.
Street Epistemology is only bad for your faith if your faith isn’t based on facts.
Hanegraaff doesn’t want to admit he believes certain things for no reason other than some old book told him it was true. He knows his beliefs are rooted in faith. He doesn’t have a good reason for why he believes what he does. He just believes things because they comfort him and he’s able to live in a bubble where others reaffirm his beliefs all the time.
So no doubt it’s scary to have a stranger ask you how you know your beliefs are true. Religious people rarely have good answers to that question.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)