- Religion and Philosophy
Is having Faith in Christ something that is Credible?
History is in contrast with myth and fable; it is something that took place with someone objectively witnessing a certain event. As the events become compiled, the source of the narration is derived from testimony of the eyewitnesses. The credibility of their accounts can be criticized through historical investigation. The authority of Scripture, in part, would be supported, or refuted through empirical observation.
The faith of the Body of Christ is not provable, but can be confirmed indirectly. Faith can be confirmed through the prophecy of Scripture and the miracles that would substantiate the teachings of Jesus Christ. The question remains, knowing whether or not, the miracles of Jesus Christ actually happened. From about 900 AD onwards, the testimony of “authorities” relied on verbatim accuracy from eyewitness accounts.
To say that miracles are true because Scripture records them, or because Scripture records miracles they are true would be circular reasoning. To avoid this, a historical argument would help fill the gap with archaeological evidence of antiquities, and other ancient manuscripts. Theology, coupled with historical methodology, would lead to the reliable credibility of Scripture. Its authenticity would need to come from both internal and external sources. No one can prove that Jesus Christ is the Son of God from someone’s personal testimony, or from history, but what can be argued is the evidence of the testimonies and accounts of many people. Their faith is the objective and subjective evidence of Jesus Christ, and the faith and endurance of it relies on those who declare it to be true and genuine.
Jesus Christ was a historic person from the writings of those during the reign of Tiberius, from pagans, Jews, and Christians of that time. There are also writings from many from other religions who inquired about Jesus Christ because of the miracles that he performed. The apostles, as well as 500 other believers objectively saw Jesus Christ after He arose from the dead. To create a hoax that He had not risen from the dead would have been bearing false witness which their faith prohibited. The propagation of faith in Jesus Christ was of Him raising from the dead and His new doctrine spreading throughout the world.
To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ would be to say the apostles were liars. Rather, the authenticity of this as being a historic event is a more reasonable approach. The historical truth comes from the facts that are attached to Christian faith. Scripture as well as other historical documents contain the doctrine of faith, and the containers of faith, are the believers in Jesus Christ. The historical reliability rests on the historical works of these narratives. To reject the Gospels as antiquity, one must reject all the others at that time as well. There are things that lack the evidence to prove, but there are others that are reasonable enough through philosophy, history, and science etc… to accept.
Objective evidence can be interpreted through the lens of an individual’s character such as personal bias, which attaches, or piggy-backs to the meaning, or interpretation of the evidence; there is no neutrality. Justification can come from the conditions that make the historical statement(s) true, or false, such as the intentions of the author, the context of the language(s) and culture, and/or nonsensical, or aesthetic approaches. There are also those who are not concerned with historical truths, or what happened, because there is no real difference between that of history and fictional writing.
A historical analysis of the past can be reconstructed and interpreted through subjective relativism. The problem with this is that when there is not a balance with neutral objectivity, which is an undermining of one for the other.
The observation of the past as it purely happened is fully unknowable, and to interpret it and reconstruct it in a completely neutral manner, cannot be done. The past no longer objectively exists apart from the things that have endured to the present; a direct analysis is not available. How do you really know that a story is not a fabricated reality of the past? There is no way to check because the past event is gone. This would mean that scientific knowledge, through the lack of objective evidence, cannot measure the historical past. The event is left in the memory of the mind itself and the account comes from the observer’s statement of the event. Historic accounts are statements and narrative that has had an impactual effect on someone. If there were no events that were remembered, they would not exist in the mind, or in the past. The facts in themselves do not have any meaning until someone applies relevance, or meaning to them.
We are the products of the time we live in and history will be written and reconstructed by the next generation; the narrative will be judged as either obsolete or superior. The past is subjectively interpreted through in the present. Past events are not a pure account of the past, but rather a reconstruction of the awareness of the past.
A detective will reconstructs a crime scene by the account of what an eyewitness believes had happened, and the evidence left behind. He may decide to believe the subjective testimony of a witness to the crime even though he objectively did not witness the crime. A critical reconstruction and examination of the objective and subjective evidence left from the past event reasonably decides what did happen. To purely know with confidence what really happened is unknowable; only the most probable explanation can be attempted.
If there was no such person as Jesus Christ, then there would be a huge problem in accounting for the vast numbers of believers in the world today. In the scientific world, many are dependent on the reports of others on evidence that is inaccessible to them. There are theoretical explanations on observable entities which are not directly observable. There are things that are real, but are not accessible by direct observation. There are residual effects of the past that exist such as archaeological findings which may not have a direct interpretation or answer; it is objective evidence minus the knowledge of the historical event.
Through sufficient evidence, probable certainty is rendered, but beyond all doubt is impossible. The best theory is bringing forth the best reasonable evidence in spite of not having direct access to the event. There are many who hold views, and those that hold other points of view. The credibility, or explanation is either accepted, rejected, or plausible by the background knowledge and experience of the individual.
In conclusion, there is no direct access to the past, and no pure neutrality in interpreting history, but the fact still remains that we still learn from it. Those who are part of the Body of Christ in history have testament and witnesses to the knowledge of God with objective and subjective revelation. Their faith has been well established regardless of the skeptical contempt towards it.
- Intelligent Faith Comes from Above
For a skeptic or unbeliever to receive real truth, evangelism must be balanced in a way to allow the Holy Spirit to work through the believer by appealing and offering evidence for the reliability of the Good News (Jesus Christ) and His Word.