Christianity Promotes Rational (and Evidential) Exploration
by J Warner Wallace
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 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” (more on this in my post on Friday).
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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…
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