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.