It is a bad habit of Christians (under tough questioning and the stress of pervasive modern evil) when it gets down to specifics; to take refuge in soothing abstractions and professions of ignorance.
It is a habit that is pretty obvious to atheists (of whom I was one until 2008), and which certainly looks like evasiveness and manipulation.
It is actually worse than that - because for too-many Christians the tough questions are, even At Root, unsure and imprecise, and for unclear reasons - so that their understanding gets fuzzier and weaker the closer they get to fundamentals.
This is no basis for a tough and real Christian faith.
For instance - Heaven. Christianity is 'all about' going to Heaven after we die biologically; so you would assume that Christians could answer straightforward and basic questions such as: 'What is Heaven like?'
After all, how could anyone know that he wanted to dwell in Heaven forever, unless he had a pretty clear idea of what Heaven was like?
Who is in Heaven - what kinds of people? How is Heaven 'organized'? And what kinds of thing do resurrected people actually Do in Heaven, on a day to day basis?
What we want and need are simple, concrete, but general answers that avoid incomprehensible abstraction and eschew evasions. Answers that explain clearly what detail is knowable and why, and what is not knowable and why.
But Christians are much too eager to open the escape hatches, and avoid the embarrassment of properly-answering such questions (or avoid revealing, and to themselves, their own ignorance) by stating that Heaven is beyond human comprehension and too great to be expressible; or to reach for vast, soaring but uninformative abstractions about light, space, oneness, communion...
Or to take refuge in 'negative theology' by saying what Heaven is Not: such as Not angels with wings playing harps and singing hymns to old man with a beard on a golden throne...
Yet none of this is helpful in answering the question.
Another example concerns the two big criticisms of Christianity: the problems of free will and evil.
The problem that if God created everything from nothing and is omnipotent, then ultimately God is and does everything; so there is no space for free will, and God is responsible for all evil as well as all good.
Christians know that it is essential for their faith to include free will, or else nobody could choose to follow Christ; nor could evil originate from anywhere except God. But they also regard it as essential to state that God created every-thing and is omnipotent.
If, after 2000 years, Christians still can't explain clearly (without soothing abstractions and squirming evasions) how evil happens in a good world made by one good God; or how a God that supposedly controls everything allows the most extreme evils; then this is a pretty damning indictment.
Faced with stark contradiction, Christians often seem perceptibly uncomfortable (squirming) - and 'explain' by reaching for abstraction. Yet abstraction is usually trying to answer an easy question by introducing a difficult (perhaps impossible) answer.
How can we suppose that we have answered a simple and honest question by pointing-at something so difficult to comprehend that it requires further and more-difficult explanation?
The psychological effect is that the answer is not given into order to clarify understanding, but with the effect of obscuring the problem by soothing it away...
There are several of these soothing abstractions given prominence in Christianity - such as the orthodox, mainstream doctrines of the Holy Trinity.
The tough question is that if Christians claim that there is one God, how can Jesus also be fully divine? Surely that is at least two Gods? And then, what about the Holy Ghost?...
And if Jesus is God, how can he be a Man? If he is a Man, how can he be God? Such obvious questions arose very early in the history of Christianity.
The 'answer' is a bunch of soothing abstractions or incantations, with the actual effect of hypnotizing the problem away - by restating the problem as a mystery of three in one, and one in three etc. This is an explanation that is not an explanation at all - it is to answer an easy question with an impossibly difficult answer.
Yet, after 2000 years, this is become a creedal matter, a necessary article of faith; something that is supposed to have been a decisive and final clarification of a problem so obvious a child can see it.
There is a sense that Christians hope that the problem will go-away if they declare it solved - and for many centuries this was actually true. Christianity held-together, despite the feeble answers...
But it is not true now.
So, most Christians (for 2000 years) have done this kind of thing all the time - resorting to abstraction and ignorance - and about some of the most fundamental matters of faith.
And this is another deep and debilitating weakness of Christianity - which I am sure has contributed to the catastrophic collapse of the past 18 months (i.e. the worst and most rapid reversal of institutional Christianity since its foundation - and if you have not noticed this, then you are in deep trouble).
It has become very obvious that most 'Christians' do not believe what they say they believe; and have actually abandoned their faith...
By contrast, these same 'Christians' are utterly credulous-of, slavishly obedient-to and defensive-concerning... whatever latest lying garbage is being spouted by government officials, advertisers and the mass media.
But Christianity is true and real, and there are clear and simple answers to all the tough and simple questions.
But none of the churches will tell you this - and certainly no other institutions will do so.
Indeed you will need to work the answers out for your-self - because why should you - how should you - trust anybody else in such times?
In such a situation, old style Christian evangelism - pushing the same old abstractions and evasions - is pitiful; and apparently counter-productive with most people.
In these end times; conversion is a matter of sorting things out for yourself and by yourself to attain answers that satisfy yourself.
All we can realistically do is provide an example of whatever sort can be managed; and encourage others really to think - for and from them-selves.
And if you get it wrong, you will soon know; because your un-rooted faith will be swept-away like a bubble in the burgeoning torrent of lies and manipulations; and you will be gathered-into the thundering main-stream, heading down the steepening slope towards Hell.
But if you get it right, you will be separated and poised calmly amidst the maelstrom; realities will glow out from among the filth and be drawn to you (and you to them)... You will inwardly be sustained, energized and en-couraged.
When you have answered the vital questions to your tested-satisfaction; you can navigate irresistibly through this bedeviled world.
You can navigate towards a Heaven that you already understand well-enough to desire; eternally to participate in divine creative work that you yearn to join-with; following a Jesus whom you know sufficiently to love.