In a recent post entitled What the Christian-Atheist Debate Is Not, I essentially argued that with regards to the gospel conversation the issue isn’t primarily concerned with the Christian presenting the evidence to meet the atheist’s “bar of reason,” so to speak. In the article it is why I made the claim: “The debate should not center around the evidence more than it should the heart.”
The significance of addressing this issue is to expose what Paul Little called “moral smoke screens” . Namely, that underlying alleged intellectual objections to the faith we might find deeper, moral reasons for not believing. as Winfried Corduan put it, “Of course there is a difference between questioning that is based on a search for truth with integrity and the kind of questioning that unbelievers sometimes hide behind” .
When questioned on the basis of his veracity, Jesus made this the central focus of his engagement with the high religious leaders of his day. For instance, in John 5:40 we see Jesus tell the Pharisees, “you refuse to come to me to have life.” In Christianity one important thing to keep in mind is that whenever a moral commitment is made, understanding in the mind also comes. As Jesus said in John 7:17: “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”
Surely, if one were to bring forth intellectual objections for believing something that has moral as well as existential implications for their life, then they would have a concern for trading in error for truth. In other words, where they were once in a position lacking in the pursuit for the Good and the True, they can now substitute falsehood for truth in order to have a proper disposition of happiness, and so forth. This holds true whether one is converting to Christianity or any other worldview.
-  Paul Little, Know Why You Believe (IVP Academic: 2008), p. 24.
-  Winfried Corduan, No Doubt About It: A Case for Christianity (B&H Academic: 1997), p. 15.