Hank Hanegraaff, the radio talk show host behind the "Bible Answer Man" program, has warned against new atheist evangelism tactics called street epistemology which he said are designed to make Christians look foolish.
Hanegraaff, who serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina–based Christian Research Institute, said in a Facebook video posted on Tuesday that street epistemology consists of atheists asking Christians to explain how it is they believe what they believe.
He pointed to in-depth research on the topic made by Travis Dickinson for CRI magazine, which exposes how atheist evangelists are hitting the streets with a go-pro video recorder in hand, recording the responses of Christians when asked "how do you know?"
The idea, Hanegraaff explained, is to capture the moment and circulate the footage through social media, with a goal to "eradicate the virus of faith."
The "Bible Answer Man" argued that street epistemology is actually "a service to contemporary Christianity," however, as it is a reminder that believers have become "lazy and apathetic about their faith."
As Capturing Christianity explains, street epistemology was pushed forward by atheist Peter Boghossian, as a means to reason people away from their belief in God.
"Street epistemologists view every conversation with the faithful as an intervention. An intervention is an attempt to help people, or 'subjects' as they're referred to in a clinical context, change their beliefs and/or behavior," Boghossian has said.
"Subjects start with a faith-based belief or a faith-based epistemology. You administer a dialectical treatment with the goal of helping them become less certain and less confident in their faith commitment (or perhaps even 'cured' of faith entirely)."
Hanegraaff argued, however, that atheist evangelists are "virtually blind to the meaning of faith."
What is more, he blasted Boghossian's argument that faith is to believe without evidence, positioning that faith is "a state of trust grounded in reason and evidence."
"We do not believe what we know ain't so, rather we believe on the basis of common sense and rationality and evidence," he added.
He pointed to secular explanations that bird feathers only emerged as a result of random chance as something that atheists blindly believe, but said Christians understand that a design points to a designer, namely God.
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."
CRI has challenged atheism in a number of article on its website, noting in a piece published in 2009 that such a worldview is "inadequate" for two reasons.
"First, atheism cannot adequately explain the existence of the world. Like all other things, the world in which we live cries out for an explanation which is clearly beyond itself — however, the atheist is unable to provide one," CRI said.
"Second, the atheistic world view is unable to provide the necessary preconditions to account for the laws of science, the universal laws of logic — and, of course, absolute moral standards. In short, the atheistic world view cannot account for the meaningful realities of life," it added.
Watch the "Bible Answer Man's" video on street epistemology below: