Through the millennia, Christianity has faced numerous challenges. Today, many say that there is no evidence for our faith in a Creator. However, that is nonsense:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. No sound is heard from them, but their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. [Psalm 19:1-4].
Nonetheless, even though the heavens themselves are compelling proof of intelligent design, our saving faith is not based on science. This is because our belief in Jesus is based on a different kind of valid evidence as contained in the Scriptures.
The Scriptures are not cleverly invented stories, but rather they are eyewitness accounts of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:15-16 & Luke 1:1-4). And as judges, juries, journalists, and historians know, eyewitness testimony is valid evidence.
In fact, testimony is the foundation of all evidence, including scientific evidence.
What would happen if a prosecutor provided scientific DNA to a jury, but did not call a witness to explain what that evidence meant? Pure science without any explanation means nothing. A witness needs to testify that the sample was taken from the scene, that it was kept secure and not tampered with, and that it does match the defendant’s DNA. All evidence must be authenticated with testimony, and ultimately, any trier of fact must first decide whether they believe the witnesses.
What about the gospel writers? Are they credible witnesses? Consider their accounts of Jesus’ death: They all speak in a matter of fact tone. They do not go into exaggerated detail about the pain that Jesus suffered or the exact methods of his torture, as some modern storytellers do. But rather, they give us the facts as needed. And that is just what we would expect from men who were actually there, from people who saw their friend crucified.
Even more compelling than their words, were their actions: their sudden change from cowards into willing martyrs. Very rare is the circle that gives their lives for their own lies.
Truthful witnesses do more than simply tell coherent stories, they also show by their demeanor and actions that what they are saying is true. For example, Christians would be poor witnesses of God’s love for us, if our actions did not show that we love him.
We cannot prove that Jesus loves us with mathematical equations or test tubes, any more than we could prove that our parents love us by using a calculator. But we can demonstrate that God loves us by sharing the testimony of the credible witnesses as recorded in the Scriptures. Science has its place, but it can not show love. The heavens do declare the glory of God, but only the Word can testify to the love of God. Faith “comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).
God uses his word and testimony to convict sinners and convince us of his love. As God says, “‘I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here I am, here am I.’” (Isaiah 65:1).
Do we have evidence for our faith? Yes. It is called the word of God, the testimony of the saints, and “the word of the prophets made more certain.” (2 Peter 1:19). Jesus is that word, he lived a life of faith and truth, and his words and deeds are credible and convincing. (John 1:14 & Isaiah 55:11).
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is convincing evidence of God’s love for us.
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Notes: A previous version of this article appeared in the St. Peter Church March 2001 newsletter.