Sometimes it transpires in conversations about the reality of God that the other fellow peppers me with hostile objections but doesn’t seem to hear my answers. In cases like that, I have occasionally put the question, “Suppose we isolated ourselves for a few weeks so that I could answer every last one of your objections. And suppose you could raise no objections to my answers. Then would you change your mind?”
Most hostiles answer “No.” Which makes it reasonable to point out, “Then your objections aren’t your real reasons for your view. What do you suppose the real reasons might be?” I insist on an answer. Sometimes this is a moment of honesty.
Occasionally, someone turns the question back on me. Come on, Budziszewski, play fair. Suppose you were out-argued and you ran out of objections. Would you change your mind?
No, I wouldn’t. But I have better reasons. I would not change my mind about God because my warrant for His reality is greater than my confidence that I can always discover the flaw in an argument against Him. What is that warrant? Experience.
As its unknown author argues in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, Christian faith is not just a subjective belief in the things hoped for, or a subjective conviction of things not seen, as the passage is often mistranslated. Rather it is a first taste of participation in the very substance of the things hoped for (the hypostasis), and the evidence or proof of things not seen (the elenchos). I believe in the invisible for the same reason I believe in the visible: I have touched it.