want one fact. We beg at the doors of your churches for just one little
fact. We pass our hats along your pews and under your pulpits and implore
you for just one fact."
don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly
suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."
Author of Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible
If today's scriptures are an accurate recording of that which was written
long ago, then are they also true? Just because something
was written long ago does not mean that it's true. Indeed, many writings
of the past reveal just how little knowledge ancient man had of science,
medicine, and the world around him. Therefore, when we discover a particularly
insightful writing from the past, it becomes an object of wonder. Is the
Bible one of those wonders? Is the ancient Bible true?
the truth of any subject, one needs to do more than prove it true. There
should also exist the inability to prove it false. If the Bible is true,
then archaeology, for instance, should be able to provide proof of the cities
and cultures that the Bible claims existed. But it should also be unable
to find evidence that contradicts and refutes those same claims.
Archaeology, just as
an example, has certainly done much to enhance our assurance of the Bible's
credibility. However, there are cities and peoples cited in the Bible of
which archaeology has yet to find evidence; perhaps some never will be found.
In light of the fact that no evidence has yet been discovered that indicates
the Bible is fraudulent, the affirming proof that is available does compel
one towards accepting the Bible's veracity.
1.2 Facts versus feelings.
Some people are content
to hold their beliefs (or reject the beliefs of others) with little or no
tangible proof. This described the basis of my own initial rejection of
biblical standards. It was not based on any positive proof that the Bible
was wrong, but on personal feelings and on consensus among my peers that
tolerance was the greatest virtue. While this kind of social diplomacy certainly
attracts friends from all lifestyles and religions, the logic behind such
thinking does not hold up.
An old Monty Python
sketch illustrates how the stalwart advocacy of tolerance can actually be
the most intolerant position of all. I recall a crowd of people are celebrating
their mutual respect and tolerance of one another by joyfully chanting,
"We're all different! We're all different!" Then, one solitary little voice
meekly differs, "Not me, I'm the same". The crowd first goes silent, then
erupts and angrily chases him off.
How accurately this
describes the hypocrisy of certain groups today who attempt to force others
into tolerating their beliefs or practices. Their so-called tolerance is
more often arrived at by subjective feelings and emotionalism rather than
by historical precedents, logic, or facts.
Until we know the objective
facts and evidences for our own beliefs (or doubts), those will only remain
opinions; and opinions are subjective, indefensible, and insufficient testimony
to convince others of the value of what we think. Our beliefs must have
foundations, and the best foundation for rational belief is that of facts
and evidences. The facts and evidences for the veracity of Scripture
is where we turn next.
NEXT: Does the Bible even claim to be true?
What is truth?
Faith: the foundation
The war of philosophies