J Warner Wallace of Cold Case Christianity and others, are proponents of Evidential Christianity. If you want to get a good understanding of what I am talking about check out this link: Evidential Christianity where Jim Wallace explains the rationale behind his evidential approach to studying and validating Christianity.
Here is a video that is available on YouTube that provides an excellent presentation on the reality and worth of utilizing Evidential Christianity: The Rich, Robust Evidential History of Christianity
Actually Evidential Christianity is pretty straight forward. There are documented facts that validate our Christian beliefs or faith. These documented facts are acknowledged as valid or true by most scholars. As Christians we need to take the time to study and investigate and become familiar with these facts so that when we speak to others about our Christian faith, the person to whom we are speaking to doesn’t think that for all intents and purposes, somewhere along the line, we put our brains in our back pocket when we became Christians.
The facts make Christianity true, and not merely the words of the Bible. Christianity, is correct because the facts of reality make it correct. When we ask a person to become a Christian, we are asking them to accept facts. We are asking them to accept the reality that has God in it, not to take a leap of faith just in a book. Some of these facts about God and Jesus are reported from science, and some of which are reported from history, and some of which are reported in the Bible (understood as a reliable historical record). It’s not the words of the Bible alone that makes Christianity true, it’s also the reality of what God made (some of which is described in the Bible) which makes Christianity true.
Facts make Christianity true: facts like the universe being created, and the fact of the universe being finely tuned for life, and the fact of the resurrection, and the fact that the reports of the resurrection story emerged within the lifetime of the eyewitnesses. When a person sees that the central teachings of Christianity are true from science, history and in this particular case, the historical reality of the resurrection, they then turn to the Bible, the inerrant Word of God, in order to find about God’s character and revelation, so that they can acknowledge God as he really is in the way that they live.
There are many facts that can be investigated, but we are only going to look at one right now. I’m going to provide a link to an approximate 44 minute video that examines the factual validity of the eyewitnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus. This is undoubtedly the most critical truth of the Bible because if the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, didn’t happen, for lack of better words, our Christian faith means nothing. The Apostle Paul acknowledges this in 1st Corinthians 15:19-20 NIV where he says “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
I should clarify that I believe the Bible is the sole infallible rule of faith and practice (Sola scriptura). That fact does not preclude us from utilizing facts, whether they be historical, scientific or textual criticism that relates to the validation of scripture regarding authorship, date of authorship or validation of eyewitness reports to authenticate what the scriptures indeed say. In other words there is nothing wrong in using the Bible AND collaborating facts that reinforce what the Bible says. I added this for my friend Adam. Thank you Adam.
In retrospect, I have also added one additional paragraph (this one) to this post which addresses the “Sola Scriptura” issue. Sola Scriptura was cited by the reformers to correct abuses by the Roman Catholic church. It means that the Bible is sufficient for the faith and practice of a believer, as opposed to the Scripture plus church tradition, plus church councils, plus the statements of the Pope, and so forth. To think that Sola Scriptura denies the role of natural revelation, including reason, in theology, is unfounded. Without natural revelation (including reasoning) we couldn’t understand the Bible or anything else about reality! Even Martin Luther realized this point. He didn’t dismiss reason. He said he would only recant if he could be proven wrong by Scripture or reason. We shouldn’t add church tradition to God’s special revelation, but we also shouldn’t subtract or exclude natural revelation (which includes reasoning) either.
This video should be an eye opener for those who have not ever looked at the factual evidence that is currently available for the validity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The video is called Believe Again, click on the “Watch” option. Here is the link: http://northpoint.org/messages/easter-2017/
And here is an additional post that dovetails into this subject: Christians Cannot be Intellectual Slackers
I would love to get your feedback!
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!