John W. Loftus suggests that the believer put himself outside of his/her own religious beliefs and examine them critically compared to other religious beliefs. He calls it the OTF, or Outsider Test of Faith. Why do people who hold Christianity’s God to be true and exist, dismiss Zeus, or Odin? All have magical powers. All can be used to explain the unexplainable. All are possible, but none have the foundation to declare them probable.
I really don’t think this is workable, someone immersed in a set of religious beliefs is cautioned by that very set of beliefs not to turn a critical eye on it. Would it be a sin to examine your own set of religious holdings to the same degree as those held by others? You could, if you felt the need afterwards, ask for forgiveness.
The Romans were every bit as serious in their belief in the Greek God Zeus as the followers of the God of the Bible were and are now. To the average Roman in Biblical times the Christians were considered atheists.
Despite the difficulty and the fact that some Christians may be unable to step out of the Faith even for one mi-nute min-ute, perhaps those who aren’t so full of it, the faith that is, might be able to manage, and thereby take a good long look at what it is that they believe and why. From the preposterous talking donkey, and talking snake, to a full grown human being walking on water. The fact is that if you were, from a young age, when incapable of critically examining new information, and trusting one’s parents to tell the truth, immersed in the faith, you may be immune to change. Doubt may never have occurred, and if it did, you were probably brought back “home” by a lively revival.
Pretend for a moment you are an ancient Roman steeped in the faith, of Zeus, and confronting for the first time the faith of Christianity. Or logically assess why you reject Zeus, Odin, or the countless other Gods. It has been said many times by the unbeliever:
“When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”