People understand that the truth matters. We base our decisions and actions on what we perceive to be true. For instance, if someone is about to take medicine, they count on the label to be true so that they do not ingest anything harmful. They want the truth about whether or not any cars are coming when they are about to walk across the street. The Truth concerning our souls, and its eternal destiny, is incredibly important and merits serious investigation.
Christians consider the Bible to be the Word of God. As such, the importance of accepting the historicity of the Bible cannot be overstated. If Jesus is who he says he is, then we should heed his words. If he is not who he says he is, then there is no basis for Christianity at all. Jesus said that He is the Way to God, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 ESV).
Jesus commissioned believers to spread God’s Word (Matthew 28:19-20) and in the book of Jude we read that we are to, “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3 NASB). Christians share their faith because they love people with the love of Christ, they know what it is like to be forgiven of our sins, and they want to see everyone enjoy a close personal relationship with God. It is not a question of whether “ours is better or yours is better” but “what is the Truth?”
The Bible tells us that we are to share the Truth of God with anyone who will listen. Many unbelievers use the misdeeds of some calling themselves Christians to dismiss the veracity of the biblical record. It is true that some Christians, and many pretending to be Christians, have behaved in ways that did not honor God. However, these actions were carried out contrary to the will of God, not in accordance with the way He wants us to behave.
There are also those who dismiss the truth of the Bible because they believe science has proven it untrustworthy. They believe that science and the biblical record are at odds with one another and that a person can accept one or the other, but not both. This is simply not true. Christians do not believe that science is bad. Rather, when properly interpreted, science and the Bible complement each other.
However, when science hypothesizes as to how we may or may not have begun our existence, they have exited the realm of science and entered the realm of philosophy. True science, the science that seeks and finds cures for diseases, etc. is a wonderful gift from God. It should glorify Him in its endeavors. When science has this outcome, it is perfectly compatible with the Christian faith and adds to the veracity of the Bible.
The Bible contains the truth God wants us to know. It would be well worth the time spent to find out what it contains.
Driskell shows in this post why it is almost impossible to have a rational discussion with an Evangelical Christian. They operate from the presupposition that the Christian Bible is truth, absolute truth, nothing but the truth, so help them the Christian God.
God has spoken truth to humanity and that truth is recorded in the Bible. While I have no doubt that Driskell would agree that creation and conscience also show us truth, their truth-i-ness must conform to what the Bible says. So when scientists look at the natural world and come to a different conclusion than what is recorded in the Bible, the scientists are wrong. The Bible trumps everything.
The Evangelical Christian is not seeking for truth wherever it may be found. They believe they already have truth and their objective is to conform the natural world they live in to that truth. Their life is not one of a journey but of a destination. Rather than following the path wherever it leads, they set out on a path predetermined by what they read in the Bible. Any “truth” that does not conform to the Bible is considered false. That’s why we have Evangelical Christians who believe the earth is only 6-10,000 years old.
As a skeptic, I challenge Driskell’s notion of absolute truth, or even truth at all. Now, I am not some wishy-washy postmodernist who thinks everything is relative BUT I also don’t fall off the other end of the spectrum with demands for absolute truth.
What is truth? Everyone seems to have their own definition of the word. Personally, I steer away from the word truth. As a skeptic, I have come to see that my beliefs, my “truths” are based on observation and probability. I believe what I can see. I believe what sound reasonable and rational. My beliefs are always tentative. Granted, like with the Bible, I can say, with a large degree of certainty, that there is nothing more for me to learn from the Bible, it is always possible that I could be wrong. Likely? No. Possible? Sure. Since I do not possess absolute knowledge, unlike many Evangelical Christians, I can never speak in absolute terms.
The Evangelical Christian will jump on my admission above and say, “HA!! So you can’t say for certain that God does not exist?” Of course not. No thoughtful skeptic would say otherwise. Is it likely God exists? No. I suppose there is a .0000000000000001 percent chance that a God of some kind exists, but even then the chance is even less that the God is THE God of the Christian Bible.
Driskell wants everyone to know that he is not anti-science. This is akin the man at office party, after downing 10 drinks, who says with slurred speech, I am not an alcoholic. Sure……….
Driskell reframes the whole science question by saying there is such a thing as TRUE science. This is Evangispeak for “The Bible is truth and everything must be judged according to it, including science.” He is disingenuous when he says that “Christians do not believe science is bad.” Some Christians don’t, but I am quite certain Christians like Driskell think science, secular science is bad. The key, for Driskell, is that “science and the Bible be rightly interpreted.”
In Driskell’s mind, good science glorifies God, is perfectly compatible with the Christian faith, and adds to the veracity of the Bible. Again, the Bible is the standard by which EVERYTHING is judged.
For you raised in Evangelical Christianity, this way of thinking is nothing new. You likely thought this way yourself for many years. It is hard to break free from this way of thinking.
I am going to shock some of you now. The key to breaking free is the Bible!
Yes, the Bible.
I agree with Driskell when he says, “The Bible contains the truth God wants us to know. It would be well worth the time spent to find out what it contains.” Well, I don’t agree with the part that says the Bible contains the truth God wants us to know but I do agree that it is “well work the time spent to find out what it contains.”
Reading the Bible for what is actually says without parsing everything through Evangelical orthodoxy goes a long way in freeing a person from the bondage of Evangelical Christianity.(and yes, I think Evangelicalism is intellectual, moral, and cultural bondage) Asking hard questions and demanding answers is crucial. Pleas to have faith or trust God must fall on deaf ears. Appeals to ignorance will not suffice.
Once a person is free to read the Bible without Evangelical constraints, free to question at will, it is doubtful they will remain an Evangelical. They may come away with some sort of Christian belief system but it will certainly not be Evangelical. As Driskell well knows, once a person starts to say, Yea hath God said, they are on a slippery slope that leads to Bruce Gerencser hell.