There’s a college ministry that I am a huge fan of. It’s called Ratio Christi (that’s Latin for “The Reason of Christ”). It will probably come as no shock to you that their focus is on teaching college age students to defend the faith.
One of the tee shirts this ministry has is a solid red shirt with white lettering laid out in the patter of an eye chart. The letters on the eye chart spell out “No more blind faith”, with the tag line “Know why you believe”. I really want this shirt! But unfortunately I am beyond the age that would allow me to pass myself off as a college student!
Breaking A Rule
I’ve stated here before that I try as often as I can not to use the word “faith” when talking about Christianity. The reason being that the word faith has subtly shifted meaning in recent years. The word faith, especially when used in conversations about Christianity, has come to be interpreted as what Greg Koukl refers to as “religious wishful thinking”.
Also, people subconsciously add words like “blind” or “leap of” when they think of faith. Biblical faith is a trust in the evidence given to us in the Bible. It’s not believing without evidence, as some sceptics claim. It’s trusting in the evidence given.
I hear people claim there is no historical or archeological evidence to support the Bible regularly. This is a claim often made by skeptics. Surprisingly, it’s also made by Christians as well.
I usually try to be gracious in these situations. Some people simply may not know how strongly archeology supports the Bible. But in most of these conversations, something odd happens.
I like to think that people are generally happy when the beliefs they hold dear are confirmed in some form. But quite often, after I tell someone of the wealth of evidence for the Bible, I’m met with something close to hostility. Again, these are Christians, not skeptics. Why would people bristle at evidence that supports their own view? I think there are a few reasons.
They don’t know the facts
As I said, many people don’t know how much evidence there is to support the history recounted in the Bible. The Bible lists accurate place names and locations. Not impressed by this? Check out some of the other Holy books and see how they hold up to historical scrutiny.
They don’t think they have time to learn.
Let’s face it. We’re all busy, including me. With a hectic schedule, how can we be expected to devote more time to study and reading? Use your time wisely. This may require you to skip a T.V show or two in the evening and do some reading instead. Have a long commute? Why not listen to a teaching podcast rather than the local shock jocks? Be a good steward of your time.
People have been taught that blind faith is superior to informed faith.
There is a sense that believing without evidence is sincerer than believing with evidence. I often hear the phrase “just have faith”. People will often reference Jesus’ statement to Thomas “because you have seen, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jn 20:29). Jesus is not advocating for ignorance in this passage. He is telling us that we can have confidence that the evidence presented in the Gospels is trustworthy.
If the history is true, then maybe God’s commands are true.
It may be that people reject the historicity of the Bible because it gives them license to ignore the Biblical commands for how we should live. While I deal mainly in intellectual objections to the Bible, I realize there are emotional reasons to reject it as well. If someone is convinced that the Bible is not historical, then they would naturally feel freer to dismiss its teachings on morality as well.
History and archeology are great tools to have handy when defending the Bible and presenting the Gospel. While it may not prove the miracles or the supernatural events in the Bible actually took place, it does go to show that the history is reliable. Once you establish that the Biblical authors are accurately relaying their history, you can begin making the case that the Gospel message is part of that history, and worthy of serious consideration. We don’t need to have a blind faith!
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