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Re: Christian World View.

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Posted by nåte on January 20, 1999 03:15:38 UTC

: : The Christian worldview is verified to the highest : : level of certainty possible by historical, legal, : : scientific, and rational evidence. Christianity : : is the only religion that is grounded on historical : : facts; facts that can be checked out. It alone, among : : the worlds religions, can verify its truth-claims : : with concrete, objective, and nonbiblical evidence.

: There are no specifics in the above paragraph, but I'll go ahead and interject some. The burning bush, the whale, and almost all of Genesis. If you believe science backs up these passages, we are so far off in our thinking we should just end the debate now. I sugges the only thing that backs up biblical passages like these are the passages themselves. It is only verfified by historical writings. But let us not forget, the Koran states that Mohammed assended into Heaven on a winged white horse. This to a non-muslim seems rediculous. However it is written, it is history. But is it true? By your own arguments a Muslim could claim it to be true because there is historical evidence. For it is written, so it must be true? I suggest not. : My question to you is this, are you a fundamentalist who takes the bible's words to there exact meaning and literal interpretation? If the answer is yes, you are a minority within your own religon. Most Christians are not fundamentalists.

: H

I think you need to realize that it is nearly impossible for science to prove events and passages written in the Bible, or for that matter anything. (In an absolute sense) Truth doesn't flow from customs and traditions; authority figures and institutions; feelings, intuitions, and common sense; instinct; pragmatism; rationalism; sense perception; or religious experience. It is important to note that these truth tests serve only to confirm truth, not reveal it. The only valid and reliable way to determine truth is utilizing the scientific method. The scientific method is the truly valid way of approaching truth because it alone can accomplish to the satisfactions of all what the other methods cannot; not only do its results not need to be tested for error independently, but is in itself capable of determining what authority to follow and what common sense beliefs and presuppositions to hold. The scientific approach to acquiring and testing truth comprises of two principles; evidence and probability. The SM involves inductive reasoning to accumulate reliable evidence that points to a general conclusion based on the highest degree of probability attainable. Although the SM is not absolute, it comes the closest to absolute truth outside of self evident or self defining first principals or logic.

Now, having stated the above, it is important for me to point out that the nature of 'proof' in religious maters is not mathematical certainty but confirming evidence. And the amount of evidence required is that which leads to a conclusion beyond reasonable doubt. The probability of truth is based on the volume of evidence either for or against it. The same for legal evidences. i.e.. eyewitness testimony accounts. Legal reasoning as a means to determine religious truth is of tremendous value. Christianity is the only religion in the world in which truth claims can be tested by legal reasoning... evidence. All other religions require us to accept their tenets based either on the testimony of their founders and leaders (authoritarianism or rationalism) or on our own subjective personal experience. Suppose a person demands absolute proof that Jesus rose from the dead. First I would point out that the Resurrection was a historical event and can't be repeated, but we can prove the Resurrection in a legal sense. We do this by presenting all the evidence that argues against it. (The empty tomb, the changed lives of the apostles, the beginning of the Christian church, etc.)

The major events in Jesus' life (His miracles, teachings, trial, death, and post resurrection appearances) are recorded either by eyewitnesses to the events or by the companions of eyewitnesses. In a court case, the New Testament Gospels are primary source material, not second or third hand info or oral tradition. The authors of the New Testament were careful to note this eyewitness testimony in order to validate the authenticity of their writings. "For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty" 2 Peter 1:16...

Here, Simon Greenleaf quotes it well...

"The apostles had every possible motive to review carefully the grounds of their faith, and the evidence of the great facts and truths which they asserted; and these motives were pressed upon their attention with the most melancholy and terrific frequency. It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead and had they not known of this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact... And their writings show them to have been men of vigorous understandings. If then their testimony was not true, there was no possible motive for its fabrication."

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