Bible Study: Blind Faith?
Bible Study: The Bible Endorses Evidence!
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The controversy between creation and evolution has been compared to a debate between blind faith and solid, scientific evidence. Those familiar with the debate would not agree. Often the evolutionist does treat his position as though it were an article of blind faith, and deals with the evidence less than honestly. As the "outsider" to the scientific community, the creationist cannot afford to. Creationists also have another strong reason for clinging to the evidence; the Bible demands it! This study will search the Scriptures to demonstrate that the Bible endorses evidence.
The image of the creationist as clinging blindly to faith is based in the commitment of many creationists that the Bible is true and accurate. Every man needs a fundamental commitment to start from and to guide his research. For many creationists, it is the Bible. But the Bible does not disparage evidence. In fact, the Bible uses it and encourages its readers to examine it. Christians are admonished to test all things and hold to what is good. That is a commission to examine the evidence!
The commission is much more plain, however. Much of Scripture was written to be evidence. Turn to EXODUS 17:14. Why was Moses to write? What is the function of a memorial (KJV)? Could we say that the writings of Moses were intended by God to be evidence for something?
Now look at ISAIAH 30:8. How is this even more explicit? What does a memorial do? If it is a "memorial forever", isn't it evidence of something?
We can read throughout the books of the Prophets of the command to write. We have looked at just two examples which give a reason for writing. Not all of them do, but the writing is intended in each case to be evidence - of the will of God, or the Word of God, or that the warning or prophecy was made. Other places where a prophet is commanded to write are EXODUS 34:27; JEREMIAH 30:2; JEREMIAH 36:2; and HABAKKUK 2:2. Notice the purpose of the writing in Habakkuk. You might call this "evidence in advance". Another word for such a thing is "warning".
The Bible itself uses evidence and cites evidence for the reader. Today, much of that evidence is no longer available, but it was there for the earlier readers to examine. Read the following. Look for what evidence is offered (See 1 CHRONICLES 29:29; 2 CHRONICLES 9:29; 12:15, 20:34; NUMBERS 21:11 and 1 KINGS 11:41). What evidence is offered in each? Put the meanings of these references into your own words.
The Old Testament cites other writings frequently to allow the reader to find additional data, or to corroborate the testimony of the writers. At least ten different books are cited as evidence of the truth of the accounts in Holy Writ. Among them are the books of Jasher, the Acts of Solomon, the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, of Israel, of Judah and Israel, of Samuel the Seer, of Nathan the Prophet, and of Gad the Seer. In one place it is even so specific as to give the specific part of the book,
"Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel" (2 CHRONICLES 20:34).
It is plain that the writers of the Old Testament, under inspiration, expected the readers to verify what they wrote. The writers of the New Testament were no different. A quick count in the concordance will show that the phrase,
"It is written", is used over ninety times to lead the New Testament readers (and hearers) back to the Old Testament for verification. These are appeals to evidence.
The New Testament authors were also writing for the purpose of evidence. Turn to LUKE 1:3. Why was Luke writing? Notice, he investigated everything very thoroughly. He investigated personally. His goal was that Theophilus might know the "exact truth". That was his stated goal!
Now go to JOHN 20:31. What was his purpose? How could he hope to cause men to believe, unless he was providing them with evidence to cling to? What was the basis of that evidence? For the answer to that turn to JOHN 21:24. Where did he get the evidence? Even in a modern court of law, a sworn deposition is considered just as reliable as evidence as the personal testimony of the eyewitness. We have John's sworn deposition. In any court in America that would be sufficient evidence in a murder trial for conviction.
Next, read 2 PETER 1:16-21. Verses 16-18 can be summed up in two words, "We saw!". Peter is intending to give evidence. He saw it, and he heard it! What was the result; verse 19? When he says that he has the word made more sure, he was simply saying that now he had seen it, understood it, and had witnessed part of the word being fulfilled right in his presence, and he offers his experience as evidence. Then, in verses 20-21, he concludes with the statement that the Word is from God. But first he presented the evidence!
In another place, Peter admonishes his readers to
"be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you..." (1 PETER 3:15). A defence requires evidence. Peter is calling on them to marshall their evidence, not only for themselves, but for others as well.
Finally, we must remember that familiar passage in HEBREWS 3:4. God appeals to the evidence. Every house is built by some man. It requires intelligence to produce that kind of order. From the obvious evidence, the truth is established - there must be a builder of all things. And Hebrews identifies that builder as the one we call "God".
The Bible doesn't call for blind faith. It promotes informed belief. Look at the evidence. Seek the evidence. The evidence will tell you the truth. Creationists don't run from the evidence. Faithful to our God, we seek the evidence, evidence that will "proclaim the handiwork of God." It is there, and we shall seek it to show the glory of God in creation to the world, so that they will seek and find His greater glory in salvation through Jesus Christ.
Source: "Bible Science Newsletter"