Last week I came across this passage in G.K. Chesterton’s book Orthodoxy. While opposing turn-of-the-Century British Modernism, he maintains that he is still a rationalist, and so provides a very rational answer:
"If I am asked, as a purely intellectual question, why I believe in Christianity, I can only answer, “For the same reason that an intelligent agnostic disbelieves in Christianity.”
I believe in it quite rationally upon the evidence. But the evidence in my case, as in that of the intelligent agnostic, is not really in this or that alleged demonstration; it is in an enormous accumulation of small but unanimous facts.
The secularist is not to be blamed because his objections to Christianity are miscellaneous and even scrappy; it is precisely such scrappy evidence that does convince the mind. I mean that a man may well be less convinced of a philosophy from four books, than from one book, one battle, one landscape, and one old friend. The very fact that the things are of different kinds increases the importance of the fact that they all point to one conclusion.
Now, the non-Christianity of the average educated man to-day is almost always, to do him justice, made up of these loose but living experiences. I can only say that my evidences for Christianity are of the same vivid but varied kind as his evidences against it. For when I look at these various anti-Christian truths, I simply discover that none of them are true.
I discover that the true tide and force of all the facts flows the other way."