Christianity and the Attack on History
Published by Luke Saint on
“Is accurate history even possible?” I asked.
I was discussing the reliability of the bible with a friend of mine, who consistently challenges the Bible as history. “Can’t be trusted,” he had often said, “Everything happened so long ago.”
But my question threw him off a little: He knew that if he said “no”, that that response would sound
ridiculous, since we base our lives on accurate history, such as remembering how to read, where you live,
the names of your children, or where you left your keys.
However, if he said “yes,” he knew that I had another question ready: “So, if accurate history is possible then why exactly do you doubt the resurrection accounts? Do you doubt because the history is inaccurate, or because you just don’t wish to believe, because in that case, the actual historicity of the accounts is a non-issue.”
The evangelism playing field has changed. A generation or two ago almost everyone (on any side of an
argument) assumed that an accurate history could be acquired. That’s no longer the case. Nonbelievers
Or at least they say they do. But they don’t question everything.
What they rarely, if ever, question is their own ability to arrive at truth. No need for the Bible; they can
figure out truth on their own. Actually, truth is now defined as being whatever the sceptic believes.
Think about that. For the sceptic truth doesn’t exist independently, it exists only exists in his own mind.
Yes, unbelievers generally hold as infallible either their reason, their experience, or both. But both are
limited, especially when compared to the God of the universe.
So, as I say, the field has changed. The nonbeliever uncritically believes what he should question, i.e. his dependent limited and fallible reasoning capabilities. He uncritically questions what he should believe, i.e. the independent and infallible Word of God.
How do we change the field? How do we re-frame the debate? What is our responsibility as believers in
Our job is to help the sceptics show some real scepticism – of themselves. We can help by arming
ourselves with questions and tactics like those described above. When they can answer them, or even
consider them, we can begin to take them seriously.
~ Joel Saint