Part one on the resurrection ended with these questions: If they found the bones of Jesus would that destroy your faith? Would that destroy Christianity? John Dominic Crossan, professor from DePaul University, said, “It certainly would not destroy my Christian faith [if bones were found]. I leave what happens to the bodies up to God.” In order to answer those questions we must answer a fundamental question, what is Faith?
I believe faith is a word that is often deeply misunderstood. Crossan has a completely different definition of faith then I hold. Some people define “faith” as believing the impossible. People of “faith” believe that which is contrary to evidence. One local teacher says that evidence actually destroys the beauty of faith. He doesn’t believe you have to justify faith or provide proof for your beliefs. He goes on to say faith is diminished by making it rational.
A similar faith was illustrated in the movie “The Miracle on 34th Street.” The mother tries to convince her daughter to believe by faith that the man who claimed to be Santa was the real Santa Claus. Here was an extremely intelligent mother telling her daughter to just believe; to just have faith. She then gave this definition, “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”
In a letter to the editor a writer said, “Among several definitions of faith, one finds this definition; ‘a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence.’” This man suggests that it is not preferable to search for evidence to support your faith. Faith is not the kind of thing that has anything to do with facts. This sort of faith says if we have evidence to prove what we believe, then that takes away from real faith. I believe this is the type faith of someone like John Dominic Crossan. The problem is Crossan and others have made it a virtue to believe against the evidence.
Talbot philosophy professor, Dr. JP Moreland has suggested that if this is really the Biblical view of faith, the best thing that could happen to Christianity is for the bones of Jesus to be discovered; that the Discovery Channel was right. Finding His bones would prove He didn't rise from the dead; and then when Christians continue to believe that He rose from the dead, they would be demonstrating the strongest of all faith; believing something that all the evidence proved was false; they would be “believing the unbelievable.”
This not the Biblical view of faith and not the definition of faith that I will defend. The Bible actually teaches the opposite; that faith is based on truth; faith is rational; faith is supported by evidence. Here is a faith definition: Reality is the way things are; belief or faith is the way we think reality is; and truth is when reality and faith match. Faith is not blind; it is supported by evidence.
I am arguing for the historical event called the resurrection. I will be presenting evidence that supports my faith. I will demonstrate the best possible explanation of the evidence is Jesus rose from the dead.
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