3 Reasons Christians Don't Need Scientific "Proof" of God

Friday, April 4, 2008 | Labels: , , , , | |

Reason #1: Historical Evidences Strongly Verify The Existence, The Teachings and the Miracles Performed by Jesus

This argument was illustrated well by Josh McDowell:

"Many people try to put off personal commitment to Christ by voicing the assumption that if you cannot prove something scientifically, it is not true or worthy of acceptance. Since one cannot prove scientifically the Deity of Jesus or the resurrection, the twentieth-century individual should know better than to accept Christ as savior or to believe in the resurrection...

There is a problem of proving about a person or event in history. We need to understand the difference between scientific proof and what I call legal-historical proof...

Scientific proof is based on showing something is a fact by repeating the event in the presence of the person questioning the fact. There is a controlled environment where observations can be made, data drawn, and hypotheses empirically verified...

Now if the scientific method was the only method of proving something, you couldn't prove that you went to your first hour class this morning or that you had lunch today. There's no way you can repeat those events in a controlled situation....

...legal-historical proof [is when]... a verdict is reached on the basis of the weight of evidence... it depends upon three types of testimony: oral testimony, written testimony, and exhibits... Using the legal method of what happened, you could pretty well prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in class this morning: your friends saw you, you have your notes, the professor remembers you.

- Josh McDowell, More Than a Carpenter, 1977

To avoid length summarizing the following chapter McDowell illustrates how the New Testament "has more manuscript authority than any piece of literature from antiquity... one can conclude that an authentic New Testament text has been established..."

He also points out a comment from a trained individual of historical investigation named Will Durant who stated, "...that a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic, and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospels. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character and teachings of Christ remain reasonably clear, and constitute fascinating feature in the history of Western Man."

As a third illustration of verifiability, he quotes Dr. Clark H. Pinnock, a professor of systematic theology at Regent College who states, "There exists no document from the ancient world witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies, and offering so superb an array of historical data on which an intelligent decision may be made. An honest [person] cannot dismiss a source of this kind. Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational [i.e., antisupernatural] bias."

This is only a portion of his illustrations, his discussion regarding these conclusions is extensive and I would recommend reading them before discrediting them.

An Online Recommended Reading of Historical New Testament Evidences: The Unrivaled Resurrection

Reason # 2: Christian's have been Personal Witnesses to the Transforming Power of Believing in Christ and his Teachings.

One needs to look no further than any born again Christian who transformed their lives from drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sex or lust addiction and experienced the saving power and grace of the Holy Spirit or the everyday Christian who has found happiness and joy. These transformations do not always occur overnight but many Christians can illustrate to you just when they became a Christian because a powerful transformation of the desires of their heart took place when they accepted Christ.

One should be careful not to dismiss this idea as a "spiritual high". The Christian often doesn't receive a wondrous feeling of euphoria but finds their mind being convicted things they ought and ought not be doing. The spirit gives an individual the ability to communicate and consult God on questions about life, troubles and their own personal vices.

One strongly recommended reading for any individual who does not fully understand how Christ can transform the heart of man ought to read a book entitled Impossible Joy where a man struggling with sex and lust addiction who was "religious" his whole life found out he never had a relationship with Christ and later in his life actually accepted Christ into his heart and brought him through one of the most incredible transformations and freedoms from his struggle.

Reason # 3: Every Semi-coherent Ethical Doctrine Attempted Apart from Christ Uses His Teachings.

It ought to be pointed out that when the majority of individuals are asked how individuals ought to behave their response on unethical behaviors lands near the ten commandments and illustrates it should be interpreted with the Golden Rule, "treat others the way you want to be treated" in mind. Brilliant as it is, Christ summarized all of his teachings with that commandment.

"Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”"

- Matthew 22:37-40

Ironically, the first commandment can be conveniently ignored by other ethical doctrines. If you read deep into each and every attempt at ethics apart from God and other systems that attempt to establish laws and moral codes, you will find that each one tries to communicate how to "love your neighbor as you love yourself" without Christ's help.

Given that Christ established the foundation of all attempts at a godless ethic himself 2000 years ago, given his philosophical conception of an unthinkable, unimaginable system by which to consult and lean on God through the Holy Spirit, given the continued existence of one of the most incredible historically accurate testaments to his teachings on how to follow that ethic and given the witnessing that many people still are and continue to be miraculously transformed by Christ and his teachings - believing in him, and who this simple carpenter from Nazareth claimed to be is not too difficult of a leap to make without scientific "proof" of the existence of God.

Craig Chamberlin

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