Evidence for Faith

The Christian faith requires evidence and not merely mental assertions.  This much has been plain for centuries now.  Where could a person look for evidence?

First, we must be clear that proof and evidence are two different things.  Proof is certainty, evidence is probability.  Most things in life are accepted, processed and responded to at the level of evidence rather than proof.  For example, when people consider someone to marry they are functioning based on evidence.  Is there a way to prove someone loves someone else?  Not really.  There is only evidence.  The accumulation of evidence provides an increasing degree of certainty.

Second, we have to work out what kinds of things are acceptable as evidence for the Christian faith.  There are a few areas where evidence can be found.  Philosophy can provide evidence for the logical validity of belief in God.  Theology can provide evidence for the rationality and coherence of God.  History (via archaeology and science) can provide evidence for the testimony of the Bible.  The Bible itself can provide evidence for the structure and implications of the Christian faith.

In all of these areas, the goal is not proof.  In fact, proof may not even be possible or desirable.  The goal is evidence.  Once the evidence begins to accumulate then the degree of certainty begins to rise.  Here is one example to think about:

  • Philosophy provides evidence for the logical necessity of a Creator.
  • Theology affirms the nature of God as benevolent and thus inclined to create.
  • History – even the most basic review – assures us of the fact of Creation.  Science also demonstrates over and over again the evidence for a Creator.  Archaeology confirms the historicity of the Bible.
  • The Bible itself confirms God as the Creator of the universe.

Are any of these statements proof?  No, they are certainly not.  Yet each of them is evidence for a Creator.  Taken together (especially in expanded, more detailed forms) these form a compelling case for the reality of the Creator.

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3 thoughts on “Evidence for Faith

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  1. “In fact, proof may not even be possible or desirable.”
    Why would it not be desirable? Are you so aware of the shaky foundations of Christianity that you pretend lack of proof is somehow a good thing?

    “Philosophy provides evidence for the logical necessity of a Creator.”
    Seeing as the vast majority of philosophers are Atheists, I doubt this. Philosophy also provides a host of arguments against God (problem of evil, lack of revelation etc). Also by its nature philosophy is theoretical and so does not provide evidence in any direction.

    “History – even the most basic review – assures us of the fact of Creation.”
    I’m sorry but what? History completely contradicts the religious story of creation as well as many Bible stories.

    “Science also demonstrates over and over again the evidence for a Creator.”
    Again what? Seeing as most scientific work contradicts the Bible and the story of creation (you know evolution and all that) this is a very strange claim to make.

    “Archaeology confirms the historicity of the Bible.”
    This is just wrong. So far archaeologists have yet to find proof that the Jews were captive in Egypt or that the Israelite Empire was as large as claimed

    1. I think you misunderstand the relationship between faith and evidence. Any and all evidence is evidence of validity of the Christian teachings, even if this evidence appears to contradict those teachings. When the evidence appears contradictory you just need to add more faith.

      1. I am now pretty sure I do not understand what you are getting at.

        You said, “When the evidence appears contradictory you just need to add more faith.”

        This is not my position at all. Rather, if the evidence is contradictory then I want to investigate the evidence, my own beliefs and the nature of the contradiction. In the end there should be no contradiction.

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