In the past few years, Christian-theist-turned-atheist John Loftus, author and owner of the Debunking Christianity blog, has developed a challenge, titled the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF), which he believes is devastating not only to Christianity, but to all religious traditions. In point of fact, Loftus is so confident in the power and strength of his so-called OTF that he believes that no rational, honest, and objective person can take his OTF challenge and remain a religious believer (http://debunkingchristianity .blogspot.com/2010/05/can-religion-pass-outsider-test-for.html). But Loftus is not the only one who professes the utter power of the OTF, for Loftus’ co-patriots believe this as well. Consider that Richard Carrier, a well-known internet infidel, speaking about Loftus’s OTF chapter in a book called The Christian Delusion—which purports to conclusively and absolutely refute Christian theism—said the following on his blog: “John Loftus contextualizes all of this by reiterating and defending his Outsider Test for Faith, which has been widely hailed as a devastating new argument against religion, and here he confirms its reputation. It's the lynch pin of the whole book [The Christian Delusion], the fulcrum on which every other chapter does Christianity in [sic].” (http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com/2010/04/ christian-delusion.html, emphasis added). Or consider that even such prominent and popular atheists as Frank Zindler say the following concerning the OTF: “If John Loftus never wrote anything else he will be remembered a century from now for his Outsider Test for Faith, which figures prominently in this book.” (Quoted on an inside page of The Christian Delusion.). And finally, note also that it takes very little time of internet searching on atheistic websites and blogs to see the OTF being touted as “devastating” and “compelling” and “potent” by numerous atheist commentators and readers. So clearly, the atheistic community seems to consider the OTF to be a new, forceful, and persuasive argument for unbelief (full details of the OTF challenge can be found on Loftus’ blog or in his edited book The Christian Delusion).
So, whatever a person may think of the merits of the OTF, what cannot be disputed is the popular apologetic value that this argument seems to possess for the unbelieving forces on both the internet and beyond. And it is due to this later fact, that what I propose, and indeed what I wish to argue for, is that rather than arguing against the OTF, theists should co-opt this argument and make it their own. In fact, theists should simply take this argument over!
Now the reason that I argue for this course of action is not only for tactical purposes—although these are important as well—but also because of the fact that when properly, honestly, and objectively developed, the so-called Outsider Test for Faith actually supports theism, supernaturalism, and Intelligent Design, all of which are positions that are much more supportive of theistic beliefs, than they are of atheistic or naturalistic ones. So the co-option of the OTF by theists, supernaturalists, and Intelligent Design proponents should be seen as natural, for the natural end of the OTF truly is one that supports theism, supernaturalism, and Intelligent Design rather than their opposites. And though this thesis may seem utterly strange, especially given the original intention of the OTF as an anti-religious argument, it is a thesis that is—as is about to be demonstrated—actually true. This fact, therefore, should not be one that is denied or ignored, but rather it should be a fact that is clearly proclaimed and declared. Which is precisely what is about to happen.