Faith is About Trust

Faith is about trust. I know - that's obvious. But what isn't obvious is that faith really isn't about one book vs another or even one ideology vs another.

It's first and foremost about the trustworthiness of the person or people at the foundation. Are they reliable witnesses to the information they are presenting, and can their testimonies and conclusions be trusted?

For Christianity (Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic), that means Jesus. Is Jesus trustworthy? More importantly (at first), are the people who wrote about Jesus trustworthy in their testimonies?

In my view, they are, and therefore he is.

But why?

In a previous post, I outlined some evidence for the fact of the empty tomb of Jesus. This evidence does not constitute physical causation, but rather inference to the best explanation. As I explained previously, history books (even modern history) don't always have absolute physical causation for claims, but when it comes to ancient history, we usually never have physical causation. We usually only have the stories of the people who told them. Advances in archeology, however, have provided us with physical causation for the reality of the culture ancient texts like the Bible were written in (which is immensely helpful), but we still don't have physical causation for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, which is the focus of this post.

So the big question is, can the gospel writers be trusted? That is, were they making things up? Were they delusional? Were they mythologizing? And underneath those questions is this one: did Jesus really rise from the dead?

That, more than anything is the question of faith that believers and skeptics must wrestle with in their hearts. And as I pointed out in this post, the matter is not settled on an absolute, intellectual basis. There are arguments on both sides, but I think the hard evidence is weighted toward the writers of the Bible being trustworthy, and the rest is arguing out the best explanation.

Trusting the writers of the Bible is, therefore, a heart matter more than it is an intellectual matter. Chew on that intently and consider it before dismissing the idea.

Side note: This is why it's so frustrating when people make the Bible about refuting science ... because that is't the purpose of the Bible. The purpose of the Bible is to point us toward Jesus. See:

For me, I've seen and experienced the reality of God in my life too many times to deny it. Of course, I intellectually struggle with the idea of the existence of God at times, but then my experiences and the experiences of others as recorded in scripture act as a counter to my intellectual struggles. My faith in the people behind the scriptures therefore serves as an intellectual ground floor for how deep my doubts can go. Any doubt beyond this 'ground floor' is a heart-condition of unbelief.

I'll use this analogy: I intellectually struggle with the fact of gravity. I don't understand the math. But my experience with gravity is so concrete, so real, that I can't deny it's existence. If I were to still resist the idea of gravity in spite of my experiences and the available evidence, I would be dealing with unbelief.

It is the same with God. There is doubt, and then there is unbelief.

Unfortunately, what I see happening too often is that people have had bad experiences with Church and religious people, and are using that as their prime reason for throwing out the idea of God all together. Unbelief is springing out of a well of bad experiences. Christians only have ourselves to blame for that, but the church as a whole has been very slow to accept responsibility. On top of this, the arguments for the non-existence of God are convincing.

However, Just because unstable people do unstable things in the name of their religion, doesn't mean their religion is invalid. What makes a religion valid or not is the trustworthiness of it's founder. Similarly, what makes a scientific theory valid or invalid is the trustworthiness of the experiments which lead to the formation of the theory.

The contrast is that in science, we are dealing with physical causation, but in the historicity of Christ, we are dealing with inference to the best explanation.


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