Thursday, January 31, 2013
Because Christianity is a religion with claims to history, we can search out the evidence from history to see if it's really true. I want to be careful in how I go about this, however, because Scripture is clear that the Holy Spirit can testify to our hearts that we are children of God (Rom 8:16), and a person without historical evidence can still be a follower of Jesus of Nazereth. Yet, the biblical model of faith is an active trust in the evidence we do have. God gives us evidence for belief all over the Bible. God gave Moses the ability to perform miracles as evidence that Moses spoke for Yahweh. The entire Gospel of John was written as evidence for belief in Christ (John 20:30-31). Paul in Acts 17 reasons with God-fearing Jews and Greeks from the Scriptures and discusses with people in the marketplace evidence from nature that God wants everyone to repent. So providing evidence for faith is the biblical model for providing a witness to others. No where in Scripture is it taught that we should just believe in spite of or contrary to facts. Saying that "I just believe in Jesus and that's all I need to know" may sound spiritual to our modern ears, but this idea is not taught in the Bible. Did Jesus say to Thomas that he should "just believe?" No, he met Thomas where he was and allowed him to put his finger in Jesus' wounds. That's evidence.