Forensic Faith 101: Do you have an accidental or evidential faith?
by Teri Dugan
Why am I a Christian and not a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Atheist? If I answer “because that is what I grew up with,” or “because I had an experience,” or “because I just feel that it is true” then I have an accidental faith. The problem with an accidental faith is that it is based on me and my feelings, it cannot hold up to questions that require evidence, and in fact people from every other belief system can give one of those same answers. In today’s culture, especially in public education, proving your position (whether religious or not) is more important than ever, and if you are not able to do so your view is quickly disregarded and even worse deemed false.
This is exactly why Christians need to become equipped to answer questions about their faith. The problem though, is that many Christians do not think they need to defend their faith. However, if they looked closely at their own family, friends or acquaintances I would wager that they know someone who has walked away from Christianity, or never really considered it, because something has made them think it is not evidentially true.
I will be teaching from J. Warner Wallace’s book Forensic Faith over the next few posts to help us understand why it is critical to equip Christians to answer tough questions, and more importantly to correct misconceptions and wrong thinking concerning the Christian faith and the Bible. It is not only critical to equip Christians to defend their faith, but it is becoming even more necessary to teach why it is critical in today’s culture and educational climate. Wallace does an outstanding job of that and I want to share some of his insights in my apologetics’ curriculum.
Janet Mefferd, nationally syndicated Christian radio personality and host of Janet Mefferd Today said this about Forensic Faith:
“Today, too many evangelical Christians would rather ‘feel’ their faith than actually understand and defend it. With biblical precision, solid evidence and masterful reasoning, Jim Wallace challenges believers to both embrace and make a thoughtful and intellectually robust case for historic Christianity. “Forensic Faith” is exactly what the church needs today!”
“Christians would rather ‘feel’ their faith than actually understand and defend it.” But what about the times when feelings waver and doubts raised by others about the faith weigh on you? This is exactly what kept me from becoming a Christian for so many years as I questioned the rationale of believing, and Christians I knew could not give evidential answers. I eventually found people who could and thankfully I became a Christian, not because it was something I felt was true (although that can be part of it) but because I discovered it was evidentially true…
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