Por Brian Chilton En el curso de las siguientes semanas, discutiremos las razones para aceptar los puntos de vista tradicionales para la autoría del Nuevo Testamento. Hoy comenzaremos con el Evangelio de Mateo y luego nos moveremos hacia los otros tres Evangelios antes de mirar algunas de las cartas en Apocalipsis. El Nuevo Testamento comienza […]Continue reading →
By Brian Chilton Last week, we began a series on the authorship of the New Testament documents as we discussed the Gospel of Matthew. This week, we continue our series as we consider the authorship of the Gospel of Mark. We will consider the internal and external evidences, as well as the date of the […]Continue reading →
Sheltering students from beliefs contrary to Christianity is a big mistake. Let me say it again, to be sure it sinks in: Sheltering students from arguments for other religions, or against Christianity, is a bad strategy for developing them as disciples in the faith. In his book You Lost Me, researcher David Kinnaman argues that […]
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You don’t have to read much of Cold-Case Christianity to realize I’m an evidentialist. The title usually gives it away. As a result, my inbox is filled with email from people who want to convince me that true faith is independent of evidence. Many of them point to the well-known passage in John chapter 20 […]Continue reading →
I often hear statements like this at speaking events when people excitedly share their journey to the cross. I’m sometimes surprised at how many people have a story similar to my own. A few years back, Abdu Murray (an ex-Muslim) interviewed me for his radio show and told me about the role evidence played in his own conversion story. When skeptics of apologetics (usually Christians) tell me they’ve never met anyone who came to faith through apologetics, I typically tell them they know at least one person, if they know me. My journey to the cross is outlined in Cold-Case Christianity as I recount the evidence God used to bring me to the truth. When someone says they “came to faith through apologetics” or they “became a Christian through the evidence,” I usually take the time to ask them what they really mean when using these expressions. They commonly describe a journey illustrating the sovereignty and power of God to call and transform the lives of His children. In each of these cases, God merely used the evidence as the means by which He called those who needed an evidential approach. God can clearly use whatever approach He desires, as He reaches out to each of us in the manner He knows will be most effective. We see examples of God using the preaching of evangelists, the words of Scripture or the appearance of a vision. God is God, and He’ll do whatever He pleases. For some of us, He is pleased to use the evidence. That’s why I’m often surprised by those who would oppose an evidential approach. I’m not just an evidential Christian case maker because I favor this form of apologetics theoretically. I’m an evidential Christian case maker because this form of apologetics was instrumental in my own journey […]Continue reading →
By Richard Eng The Bible’s definition of faith is simple, easy, and straightforward. But there are influences both inside and outside the church that confuse the biblical definition. Imagine the biblical definition as the ingredients to a fruit smoothie and the bad influences are chocolate, salt and pepper, and fish. When you blend it all together the once delicious drink is now a goopy mess, not exactly appetizing; a definition that the world laughs at. The sneaky part about the smoothie illustration is this: the false information that gets blended in with the definition of faith looks appealing, but it ultimately leads to a definition so unlike the original that it changes the meaning. Christians cannot allow false teachers and the world to define our terms. When we lose our definitions, we lose our control of the conversation. Atheistic professors, youtube personalities, and zealous social media commenters devour unsuspecting christians when they ask, “so you are saying that you believe in a god without evidence? And that’s what faith is? Why don’t you believe in somethingbased on evidence??” But is faith a belief without evidence? Is it something else? Here are The Top Five Reasons Faith is Not What You Think It Is. Faith is not Blind I really believe that this misunderstanding comes from a bad interpretation of a familiar bible passage. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (ESV) People then take this passage to mean that faith is sightless or blind. As if to be a christian is to walk around with your eyes closed. The best advice I’ve heard about reading the bible is this, never read a bible verse. Meaning, do not read only one verse- always check the context. Even from just a quick glance of the context, the apostle Paul is […]
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Anais Nin, the avant-garde author, and diarist, once said, “When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.” I couldn’t agree more. As a detective and evidentialist, the last thing I want a jury to do is to adopt a position blindly. Many people seem to think that Christians do this very thing, however, when they adopt the view that Christianity is true. This is largely due to the fact that the term, “faith” is largely misunderstood. For some (even for some Christians), faith is best defined as “believing in something that lacks supporting evidence.” But this is not the definition of faith that is presented on the pages of Christian Scripture. Instead, the Biblical notion of faith is more akin to “trusting in the best inference from the evidence.” The Biblical authors repeatedly encouraged their readers to search the evidence to investigate the claims of Christianity (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 and 1 John 4:1) so they could be convinced of the truth of these claims (Romans 14:5, 2 Timothy 1:8-12 and 2 Timothy 3:14). This encouragement is consistent with the notion that the evidence will lead us to a rational conclusion about the nature of Jesus. In fact, Jesus also encouraged his followers to consider the evidence he provided about his deity (John 14:11 and Acts 1:2-3). Christian faith is not blind. Instead, the Christian faith encourages investigation related to Jesus and to the world around us. Christians ought to understand the distinctions between unreasonable, blind and reasonable faith: Unreasonable Faith Believing in something IN SPITE of the evidence. We hold an unreasonable faith when we refuse to accept or acknowledge evidence that exists, is easily accessible and clearly refutes what we believe Blind Faith Believing in something WITHOUT any evidence. […]
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When Atheists ask for scientific, or scientifically verifiable, evidence of or for God’s existence there are a plethora of issues to consider.
Firstly, they should be asked to justify demand for evidence. This is because all of us believe in and/or otherwise hold to certain views without any regard for evidence. For example, our various worldview-philosophies are ultimately founded upon a basis, premises, presuppositions, assumptions, axioms, etc. and these are not proven or evidenced but rather, are assumed, intuited, etc.
The minutia of the nature of properly basic beliefs, what entails a properly basic belief, just what and/or which are properly basic beliefs is another issue.
Also, in claiming that we should or ought to present evidence for __________ (fill in the blank, God’s existence in this case) Atheists are making absolute truth claims and making absolute demands based on nothing but what comes down to personal preferences which are themselves based on personal preferences since “Thou shall ascertain empirical truth via evidence” is not part of the furniture of an Atheist universe.
Now, such evidence would, presumably, be something not natural but rather, supernatural. For if it was natural then it would be part of nature and thus, not count as evidence of/for God.
Yet, if such evidence is supernatural then science would be unable to access and explain it as science is a tool that was intelligently designed for the purpose of exploring the natural world, the material realm.
Thus, an Atheist would do well to recognize these facts and chose to request miraculous evidence, “Show me a miracle” they may say.
When an Atheist is asked “What would you consider to be evidence of/for God?’” their answer needs to be dissected for them and it generally comes in two categories:
1) Evidence that only God could provide, such as a miracle, a personal appearance by God, etc.
2) Evidence I, at least theoretically, could provide.
If they demand evidence that only God could provide then I would make sure to point out that I cannot help them with that—it is a set up for you to fail (consciously set up or not).
One Atheist told me “show me Jesus” well, just how am I supposed to do that? Although, I suppose that I could show him Jesus but then that would be called murder, “Your honor, he asked me to show him Jesus—capiche!?!?”
The Apostle Thomas, to whom the Bible never refers as “doubting,” demanded physical evidence when, and only when, he was told that physical evidence was available.
The Atheists will seek to demand things that they know you cannot provide and in doing so they will consider that they have disproved that any such evidence exists and thus that God does not exist as well—or, some such conclusion.
Of course, there is a much deeper issue which is, for example, that Richard Dawkins wrote, “The God of the Bible is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction,” etc., etc., etc. (note that he did not write of the God of the Qur’an or any other religion as Atheism is an anti-Christian support group). If you could prove to Dawkins that the God of the Bible exists, he would hate him all the more for existing. The point is that, as per Romans 1 for example, God’s existence is not the issue with Atheists, the issue is rebellion against God.
Now, the Atheist is demanding evidence of the supernatural (or, supernatural evidence) so that, by definition, science would not be applicable to it. Now, of course, they are asking for phenomena which science cannot explain (and may be unable to even begin access so as to observe it, etc.).
Notice what they are requesting when we see the bottom line: they are asking for evidence not only of a God of the gaps but they are asking for gap based evidence of such as God.
You will note that Atheists reject arguments, evidences or proofs which they categorize as being God of the gaps arguments, evidences or proofs but ultimately demand such arguments, evidences or proofs.
An issue is that Atheists of the sort in view are not skeptical as in a true and honest skeptic who states, “I will not believe until…” but rather, are cynics who state, “I will not believe—period.” This is because not matter what supposedly alleged evidence of the supernatural could be witnessed, we could never come to the conclusion that it was, indeed, evidence of/for the supernatural as we could simply keep continually stating, “Well, that there’s somethin’ alright, but someday in the future science will surely be able to explain it as the result of an as of yet unknown natural mechanism.”
Even if they must hold, by “faith,” that such a scientific explanation will come about 3,759 years and 3 days after they die, that is good enough for them: the cursed hopeless hope that someday, may thy king-less-dom come, Atheism, which they view as the one truth, will prevail over all.
In a chapter of his book “Orthodoxy” entitled “The Suicide of Thought” G. K. Chesterton made a statement about this sort of absolute skepticism:
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…the new rebel is a Sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything.
He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything.
For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it…By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.