But embracing this mystery comes at a price. If, like the archbishop of Canterbury, your faith is a kind of “silent waiting on the truth, pure sitting and breathing in the presence of the question mark”, then think very carefully before you open your mouth. Too often I find that faith is mysterious only selectively. Believers constantly attribute all sorts of qualities to their gods and have a list of doctrines as long as your arm. It is only when the questions get tough that, suddenly, their God disappears in a puff of mystery. Ineffability becomes a kind of invisibility cloak, only worn when there is a need to get out of a bit of philosophical bother.

Julian Baggini. Well, of course mystery is “selective.” Does Baggini thinks he lives in a world where everything is equally clear? Just consider our understanding of other people, even the people we know most intimately: there are things we believe we can say with great confidence, perhaps even with certainty, but in other respects those people remain mysteries to us. (For that matter, the same can be said for our knowledge of ourselves.) Why should beliefs about God be any different? Faith is not knowledge — that’s why it has a different name — but it isn’t blind either. It’s made up of a combination of intuitions and insights and empirical observation. In that respect it’s like pretty much everything else we believe.

(And by the way, that quote from Rowan is taken out of context from an article that takes it out of context. Baggini couldn’t be bothered to find out what the Archbishop really believes, or even what he was saying in that moment.)