I’ve been reading a lot of Lee Strobel’s books lately. If you don’t know, Lee Strobel is a former journalist who, after his wife became a Christian, began studying the evidence for Jesus as the son of God. And he found that, in fact, historical and scientific evidence point toward the existence of a Creator, that that Creator is the Judeo-Christian God, and that Jesus Christ is in fact the Messiah, in a series of books, Amazon links to which will be left at the bottom of the post. (This isn’t a sponsored post by any means; I just think it’s a great resource for anyone to use.)
Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of comments about “blind faith.” You know, the “faith is the assurance of things unseen” and “blessed is he who has not seen and yet believes” and what-not. Essentially, I’ve discovered that the belief of many Christians is that people should come to Christ and continue to draw nearer to Christ purely through faith, without any shred of evidence whatsoever.
This seems like a ridiculous concept to me. After all, I highly doubt that anyone is a Christian without having a reason to. In fact saying that no one can be saved with evidence is silly. After all, most of the reason Paul was saved was that he physically saw Jesus Himself!
Of course, no one can be saved on evidence alone, since most people have a personal reason for choosing not to believe in the existence of God. But in a day and age in which science actually points toward Christianity, or at the very least, points toward some form of personal, intelligent Creator, it’s hard to take the evidence and praise God for it. So here are some of the reasons why seeing evidence won’t hurt, but actually help your faith.
Evidence requires faith.
Not many people claim to be entire certain of what has to happen in the process of salvation, but we have to agree that God Himself has to draw you in first. Jesus Himself said in John 6, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” So, according to this, when we were saved, we received a very important piece of evidence: a personal encounter with God Himself! When we find ourselves doubting, we typically look back to that day.
That doesn’t mean it takes no faith to believe it happened. It could have been a hallucination or a psychosomatic feeling based on wishful thinking. We still have to have faith that new pieces of evidence won’t disprove anything about God’s existence, despite what anyone claims.
Evidence can boost your relationship with God
Strobel has a series of books consisting of The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, as well as some smaller, leaflet-type books regarding more specific matters of Christ’s life.
In these books, he conducts a series of interviews with leading historians, scientists and theologians. He asks questions from an atheist perspective, challenging those he’s interviewing to defend Christianity itself based on only rock solid evidence.
But he usually ends with the same question. “Has all your research benefited your relationship with Christ?”
Every single time, the response is that it has helped in tremendous ways. So if you don’t think evidence for God’s existence can help your relationship with Him, read it for yourself, and you can see the evidence for that.
Blessed is He: A Lesson in Context
This refers to the old “blessed is he who has not seen and yet believes.” Let’s take a look at the context of this verse and see what the deal is.
Oh, Thomas. Good old doubting Thomas. He didn’t believe in the resurrection. He wanted to see it for himself. So Jesus showed up and let Thomas put his hands in His wounds. And Thomas believed at that point. And then Jesus said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
What is Jesus ISN’T saying is that if you believe based on proof, you can’t be a Christian, or that it’ll hurt the relationship. After all, Jesus revealed Himself to plenty of people, and gave no condemnation for it.
Plus, no translation of the Bible ever uses “will be blessed.” I mean, it’s not a cause and effect transaction. “He didn’t see me but he believed, so I’ll bless him.” In fact, it’s kind of the opposite of that. “That guy’s blessed with the ability to believe even though he doesn’t see.” I think it’s a good thing to be able to believe in the Lord even if everything else points the other way. But it’s not a bad thing to look at the evidence when it’s pointing to Him in every way.
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20
IN THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. Essentially, Paul is challenging everyone to look around! He dares us to truly examine everything and see if you can draw any other conclusion but God. It’s time for some mini-points involving where to find these aspects of God’s invisible attributes.
- His eternal power can be seen in the fact that science has essentially proven that the universe had a beginning. And if it had a beginning, it had to have a cause. And that cause had to transcend all of time and space.
- His divine nature can be seen in the impossibility of our existence. Our planet has had the exact right conditions from the beginning. Let’s think about just where we are. We are in the perfect place in the sun’s orbit. We know that. A bit for eccentricity in our elliptical orbit and we can’t have life. A bit further or closer and we can’t have it, either. But that’s not it. Our sun is also within the perfect place in the galaxy to avoid collision, radiation from the black hole in the center of the galaxy, etc. And that’s just a start. When you consider everything else, it’s really absurd to think our existence is just an accident.
The point is, we’re called to investigate. Paul makes it clear that the evidence of God’s existence is the entire reason we have to have an excuse NOT to believe. And having evidence doesn’t mean we have no faith. It means our faith can be backed up. And nothing is wrong with that. There’s nothing nonspiritual or unholy about looking for some sort of solid evidence. Faith doesn’t have to be blind. In fact, quite the opposite. A blind faith can’t make it any further. Rather, it’s important that we strengthen it with evidence and, more importantly, personal time with God. It’s a lot easier moving forward when we know we’re going in the right direction. That’s why I study the evidence for my beliefs. Just something to think about. Tillman out.