I was thinking about atheists and how they say that we Christians believe because of faith. Atheists define faith as "believing something in the absence of any evidence.’
Atheists think that is our only basis for concluding that Jesus is truly Creator, Lord and Saviour.
Well, that may be what atheists think but I don't know of any Christians who think that way. In fact, down through the ages, it's never been what any Christian has believed. In fact, Christianity is the only religion to be based on rationality and history.
“God is supremely rational, and the human being is also rational, being created in the image and likeness of God. Hence religion, which is the expression of the deep relationship between God and human kind cannot be but rational.” Johannes Kepler, “What if the Bible had never been written.”
“Now I define faith as the power of continuing to believe what we once honestly thought to be true until cogent reasons for honestly changing our minds are brought before us.” C. S. Lewis, “The Seeing Eye”
“Belief, in the Christian sense, seems to be to be assent to a proposition which we think so overwhelmingly probable that there is a psychological exclusion of doubt though not a logical exclusion of dispute.” C. S. Lewis, “Obstinacy of Belief”
“Faith is a trust in what we have reason to believe is true. Understood in this way we see that faith is built on reason. We should have good reasons for thinking that Christianity is true before we dedicate ourselves completely to it.” J. P. Mooreland
“Reason directs those who are truly pious and philosophical to honour and love what is true. Justin Martyr, “The first Apology.”
“Philosophy is a kind of preparatory training to those who attain to faith through demonstration. So also here I call him truly learned who brings everything to bear on the truth, so that from geometry and music and grammar and philosophy itself, culling what is useful, he guards the faith against assault. ”Clement of Alexandria, “The Stromata”
“Creation itself reveals Him who created it, and the work made is suggestive of Him who made it, and the world manifests Him that arranged it.” Irenaeous of Lyon, “Barr 13"
“We must first be instructed by reason and then we share understand the sacred and mystical teachings.” Basil of Caesarea “Christianity and Classical Culture”
“Faith is what gives fullness to our reasoning,” Gregory of Nazianzus
“Reason is a thing of God, inasmuch as God, the maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason, nothing which He has not willed should be handled and understood by reason.” Stark, “For the Glory of God.”
“Heaven forbid that we should believe in such as way as not accept or seek reasons since we could not even believe if we did not possess rational souls. But they are much deceived, who think that we believe in Christ without any proofs concerning Christ.” Augustine, “Concerning Faith In Things Not Seen”
“I believe in order to understand.” Anselm
“While faith comes first in time, knowledge comes first in importance. Faith and reason do not conflict but instead compliment each other.” St Anselm, “Credo, ut inttigam”
“It was necessary for man’s salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by God, besides the philosophical sciences investigated by human reason.” Anselm, “Summa Theologica”
“The principles of any science are either themselves self-evident or reducible to the knowledge of a higher science. Individual facts establish the authority of those men through whom the divine revelation has come down to us. Hence the fact that some happen to doubt about the articles of faith is not due to the uncertain nature of the truths, but to the weakness of the human intellect.” Thomas Aquinas
“The existence of God and other like truths about God, which can be known by natural reason, are not articles of faith for faith presupposes natural knowledge” Thomas Aquinas
“Reason distinguished man from true brutes, and was that by which man judges between good and evil.” John Calvin. Chapter in the Institutes of the Christian Religion called, “Rational Proofs to Establish the Belief of the Scripture.”
“I have always thought that two questions, that of God and that of the soul, are chief among those that ought to be demonstrated by the aid of philosophy rather than that of theology. These two are first proven to him by way of reason. Now you sir, desire to learn the principles of the teaching of the Lord of heaven. I shall therefore state them plainly for you, and any explanation will be based solely on reason.” Rene Descartes, “To the Dean of Doctors” University of Paris.
“Faith can never convince us of anything that contradicts our knowledge. It still belongs to reason to judge of the truth of it’s being a revelation.” John Locke
“Thought constitutes the greatness of man.” Blaise Pascal “Section 12 “Proofs of Jesus.””
“Unreasonable and absurd ways of life are truly an offence to God.” William Law, “Love God With All Your Mind.”
“Ignorance is the mother not of devotion but of heresy.” Cotton Mather
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen." Hebrews 11:1