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October 25, 2016, 12:14 PM

Christian Evidentialism I Part 1

Texts:  Acts 1:3 “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:”
Infallible – Gr. “Tekmerion” – Conclusively known. 
Galatians 3:1 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?”
Evidently – Gr. “Prographo” – To speak beforehand, as in the OT Scriptrures; or to paint clearly in front of.
Psalm 119:160 – “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”

     The premise of Christian Evidentialism is that every word of the Bible is true, and that all evidence properly interpreted shows this fact.  
     The textbook will be Walt Browns 7th+ Edition of “In the Beginning”.  Besides attendance at the sessions on Monday and Tuesday Oct. 6-7 and November 17-18, the following will be necessary to complete the Course:
Read “In the Beginning” pgs. I-42 (at least in my edition – please ask if you have any questions), and pgs. 158-301.
Write a 5 page paper on some of the evidences mentioned in the first part of the book.
Write a 5 page paper on some of the evidences mentioned in the latter part of the book.

                              The Scope of Christian Evidentialism

     Christian Evidences are all around us.  Paul said they are in creation (Romans 1), and internal.  David said the heavens speak of the glory of God (Psalm 8).  Literally nearly every sphere of knowledge and man’s endeavours speak in varying degrees of loudness to the testimony of God and His Truth.  
For example:
History – All recorded historical events are plausibly true using historical methodology.  On a doctrinal level, again all basic Bible doctrines are shown to be true from a wide range of sources.
Science – Using the scientific method, all statements in the Bible pertaining to science are true and factual.  Not only that, science shows that only the Bible has the explanation for Creation and Origins that fits all of the known facts and observable processes.
Archeology – Discoveries of the the Ancient Near East are all congruent with Biblical statements down to the finest details.
Linguistics – Current linguist and alphabetic models concur with Biblical conclusions about language, including Babel, and the situations both before and after this event.
Sociological – The statements the Bible makes concerning mankinds dealings with other men are demonstrably true.
Psychological – The inherent sinfulness of man, its many manifestations, man’s spiritual nature, man’s longing for Eden and search for the Divine among many other manifestations of the human psyche are shown to be true.
Logic – Within the confines of human reason, even the supernatural assertions of the Bible are shown to have logical consistency with prevailing assumptions.
Technology – Daniel 12:4 predicted our day, as did many other portions of the Bible.
Geographical – The Scripture is shown to be correct in all geographical references.
Philosophy – The Bible can be shown to have the highest sources of wisdom.
Prophecy – The Bible is correct in all its utterances.
Paleography – Shows the inerrancy of the Bible. 
     The Bible predicts the future.  The Bible makes statements about invisible beings, and a holy city we have never seen.  It speaks of places of eternal judgement we have not seen.  But if the Bible is without  error and totally accurate in every detail that is observable and quantifiable, should not we conclude that it is accurate in other non-verifiable statements and assertions?  
      This is called faith.  
                        Evidence for the Authenticity of the Bible
     The Bible is the Christians Charter.  In it, we find everything we need for faith and practice.  It is sufficient and complete.  It is the Christians sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6).  Jesus, our Great Example and Saviour showed us it is how to defeat the devil.  No one in Scripture ever questioned its authenticity.   So it is only natural for satan and fallen human nature to attack it.  Undermine the Bible, and you have effectively undermined the Christian faith, for it is this infallible document that records for us everything we need to know as Christians.
     Since mankind is finite and fallible, God gave us something outside of ourselves to guide us.  Even the best of Christians may have disagreements, or think different things are the will of God.  So there is an objective standard, an arbiter, that reveals to us the mind of God.  It is concrete and divinely preserved by God.
     Here is a short list of the ways the Bible has come under attack:
1)    Supposed Contradictions
2)    Theodicy – the problem of evil
3)    Incomplete Historical records
4)    The Problem of Translation
5)    Inaccurate Historical Statements
6)    Inaccurate and outdated Scientific Observations
7)    Lack of Archeological Confirmation or Contradictory Information
8)    The Bibles approval of the killing of children, slavery, and womens helotry or subjugation
9)    Miracles and the supernatural
10)    Psychological and Sociological statements and conditions
11)    The Bibles exclusion of other faiths
So in Christian Evidentialism, at least briefly being able to show the answer to each of these is a good arrow to have in your quiver, or to at least be acquainted with the objection.
     Now, a certain percentage of people that you win, or are coming to the Lord etc. are going to accept the Bible at face value.  But with the deconstruction of the West, less and less people have faith in the Bible as the Word of God.  A couple of studies will help show this.
      A recent Gallup poll showed 31% of the American population believe the Bible is the literal Word of God.
      Among those with no college education it is 46%.  Those with any college attendance it is 22%.
Several recent polls have shown that 9-10% of the USA qualify as atheists.  Polls showing much higher numbers usually include the “non-religious” category – but just because someone is non-religious does not mean they are atheists.

Generally, the West Coast and the East Coast have the highest numbers of self professed atheists.  Also, citizens of larger cities tend to identify more with this demographic, while the more suburban and rural, the more the belief in God as a general rule.  
By all counts, the trend in the US is towards less belief, as historical research shows. 

Let’s briefly examine some ways Christian Evidentialism would answer these questions dealing with the Word of God. 

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