Science asks for evidence.
So how does the Bible weigh in on this?
To risk oversimplifying, consider this:
“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life…we proclaim to you…”
–1 John 1:1-2
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In our last post that talked about science and religion, once again we mentioned the role of evidence. Notice that the Apostle John (who wrote 1 John) was no stranger to this concern.
In the first sentence of his letter he appeals to 3 of the 5 senses: hearing, seeing (with the eyes), and touching. John wanted to emphasize from the very outset that Christian faith is not based upon an idea, a ghost, a spirit, a phantom, or a dream. It is based upon a person: Jesus Christ. It was someone who he–personally–had spent considerable time with and had been taught by. Further, it was someone who had not only lived, but who had died, and 3 days later had risen from the dead, and then John had heard, seen, and touched again.
Of course many, scientists especially, might ask, “Is this a credible report?” And so do I. Rising from the dead is not an everyday happening. In this case if we believe it, we’re relying on a historical report. And, just for the record, scientists also rely on historical reports. And, if we search and read long enough, we find some reports about anything (that we haven’t directly experienced) are better than others.
Our purpose here is not to analyze biblical text, or this passage in particular¹. Rather it is to consider for a moment that much of what we do is based upon “evidence” that we’ve gathered one way or another. (Will they have such and such at the grocery by Thursday? for example.)
A reasonable person looks for reliable information and then acts upon it. What’s reasonable and what’s not is a grown-up (adult) activity. And we won’t say much more about that now.
Except for science and philosophical matters and how they relate to Christian faith–in general–we recommend two websites:
Happy Birthday, Phoebe! (You’re a wonderful daughter.)
¹ I have no problem accepting the Apostle John’s words here.