Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Can't See, Touch, or Download

Mouse: You girls can believe what you want -- it's a free country.
I don't believe in anything I can't see, touch, or download.
Shelby: Yeah, but that's what faith is -- believing in something even though you can't touch it or see it.
And I believe in God.
- Welcome To Holsom #1
by Craig W. Schutt and Steven Butler

I once heard a sermon where the pastor insisted that we have evidence that absolutely proves that Jesus was the Son of God and that anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is ridiculous. Of course, he failed to even make an attempt to produce such evidence.

Ridiculous not to believe? Really? Not believing seems like the reasonable course of action. What about believing that someone was born of a virgin, walked on water, died, came back to life three days later, and then floated up into the sky until he somehow reached Heaven (how does that last one work, anyway?) isn't ridiculous?

And if there was such evidence to undeniably prove this, it would be devastating to Christianity. Salvation isn't based on evidence or what we can prove, but on faith.
"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" - Romans 5:1 (NRSV)
Think about how different one of the most famous verses of the New Testament, John 3:16, would be if it was about proving Jesus rather than having faith in him.
"For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son and whosoever is presented with empirical evidence proving his resurrection and divinity shall not perish but have everlasting life."
Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

Now, I'm certainly not against comparing science with the Bible or attempting to look at it through a scientific lens. Such work can be fruitful, though it can also lead to the circulation of mountains of crap "science" in email forwards. Seriously, any Christian that uses email should make Snopes their homepage.

But if our faith is based on "science" or "evidence" that supposedly "proves" the Bible, then we really don't have any faith at all.

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