The role of evidence in the Christian faith (Conclusion)

At this point in this series of posts, it should be absolutely clear that evidence is a deadly serious business in Christianity.

The first step in faith starts by believing, based on the evidence, the message we have heard preached to us. All other biblical meaning of the word "faith" are built on it. The Bible is replete with passages that demonstrate the crucial role of evidence in the Christian faith: God always provides evidence whenever he asks us to believe something, and provides dramatic evidence when he asks us to believe something new and important. He expects us to test and verify that evidence, and to follow it where it leads.

He furthermore wants us to maintain clear-headed rationality while we make our inferences from the evidence. He therefore rebukes irrational behavior, such as refusing to believe despite the evidence, sticking to a "I only believe what I can see" mindset, or attempting to test the evidence from outside the framework that God himself has provided.

These patterns of rationally examining, testing, and inferring from the evidence that God provided is documented throughout the whole Bible, whereas there is not a single instance where anything like "blind faith" is called for on the part of the believer. Furthermore, it is not only the Bible which demonstrates these patterns in handling the evidence: the soundness of these patterns is guaranteed by the fact that science follows the exact same rules in handling its evidence. This is only expected, as the same Author of both nature and Scripture has infused them both with his logic and faithfulness. Any attempt to philosophically dismiss evidence in Christianity as "non-empirical" or "non-repeatable" runs straight up against this parallel in science: rejecting these patterns in Christianity's handling of its evidence for some philosophical reason means that you'd be rejecting the equivalent scientific practices as well.

Evidence in Christianity, therefore, plays the same crucial role in as it does in the sciences, and is handled in the same way.

The next post will be a consolidation of all the posts in this series into one massive post.

You may next want to read:
The role of evidence in the Christian faith (Consolidation post for this series)
How physics fits within Christianity (part 1)
Science as evidence for Christianity against atheism (introduction)
Another post, from the table of contents

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