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Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Craigbythesea, May 25, 2004.
Why do YOU believe the Bible is true?
Because I have been possessed by the Holy Spirit and the truth dwells within me.
I thank God everyday that I am Saved and know the truth.
I know the Bible is true because I was saved as I was reading it and was convicted that it was God's word.
However, I believe that it is true also for the evidence that exists for it: the manuscript evidence that shows only minor variations; the one strong theme of man's fall and God's redemption that is woven throughout all 66 books, though written hundreds of years apart; the incredible richness and profundity of it that surpasses any other written material I've come across, inlcuding the Buddhist and Hindu beliefs that I studied; and because it reveals a righteous God who judges sin and yet at the same time has mercy and grace. The God that is revealed in scripture, and the words of Jesus in the NT, are so superior to any other religious figure anywhere.
I am often challenged by people coming to my website as to why I think the Bible is true, and what I say above is some of what I say to answer them. (I also might give them links to sites that discuss the reliability of the Bible, manuscript evidence, etc.).
Used "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell to teach about proof of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Would recommend it to anyone to help formulate why YOU believe the Bible is true.
In a phrase?
Because of fulfilled prophecy. Only God can predict precise events hundreds of years in advance and get every detail right, including the name of the person in view.
Because He has been accurate in this one area, He is accurate in all others.
Wow, that's an oldie. I think I read that in college. This is definitely worth reading. Though Josh grandstands from time to time, he makes his points clearly.
I believe because of the logic of faith. Faith without logic is subjectivism. I've posted that idea before.
First I believe because I am a Christian, and, as has been said, I know God, and therefore, the Holy Spirit testifies with mine to that effect. However, as I said, is that logical? Can that be verified? After all, persons of other religions can and do say the same things about the nature of their faith.
This is how I see it:
I exist. I must exist in order to deny that I exist, that is undeniable. God exists, this is logically provable from the previous proposition without any appeal to a self-defeating premise or a fallacy of logical argumentation. Atheism, panentheism, pantheism, and deism all include one or more logically self-defeating premises. Logic therefore tells me God exists, because theism does not include such premises. Since logic exists as a necessary concomitant of God's existence, I can conclude that, among His other perfect attributes, God is a God of perfect logic. Therefore, using logic, I can reason the following:
Based on theism, I can examine the systematic consistency of the world religions and conclude that Christianity and its claims make the best sense of all the available evidence. Therefore, it is logically true that Jesus is Lord.
Since Jesus is Lord, as Christianity claims, I can trust what He said about Scripture. Not only that, I can look at the history of Scripture and its preservation and development and conclude that the evidence and accuracy of the text is beyond question. It can only be that Scripture is true.
Therefore, logic verfies my faith as being true. My faith is not experientialism. It is not subjectivism. My faith, therefore is due to a real thing that has happened to me as a person (e.g. my salvation and having a real, living relationship with the Lord). My faith, therefore, rests in God, on an experience with God, and on the logic that God Himself must have given me by virtue of the ability to reason.
This verifies the claim of Christianity that it is rooted not just in abstract ethical, moral, and theological propositions and revelations from God, but it is rooted in verifiable logical truths of the mind as well as historically accurate data, even if not all of the data is verifiable at this time. What data is verifiable points to the Bible being historically accurate and true. Christianity rests on the historical truth that Jesus really is Lord, He really did come, He really did die, and He really did rise from the dead. If He really did rise from the dead, a miracle, then the miraculous claims of Scripture are also true. If that is so, then the theological propositions must be true, and therefore, it follows that the ethics are good and right and just. One of those claims is that it is itself the Word of God and true.
This all forms the basis of my belief in the truth of the Bible, which extends to my belief that it both infallible and without error in all that it affirms.
I simply believe the Bible is true. There is no evidence to prove it. Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit within me that sustains this belief. Any other arguement involves circular reasoning.
. . . but I haven't read evidence that demands a verdict. Maybe it is the key
I also recommend Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler. He demonstrates how reasoning the truth of Scripture is not circular.
Not a bad book...for an Arminian
What don't you throw me in a few sentences his thesis.
This is the short version...I'll skip over some things because, well, he takes 18 chapters to arrive at his conclusion...
First he arrives at tests for truth and falsity. (Undeniability and unaffirmability, respectively).
Systematic consistency only works WITHIN worldviews, not on worldviews themselves. Therefore, in terms of determining worldviews, we must used test for truth and falsity alone, not systematic consistency.
(Tests worldviews). Theism is the only one that meets both tests for truth and falsity without relying on logically self-defeating premises.
Therefore, we may use systematic consistency and find the one that makes the best sense.
Looks at naturalism and supernatural. Arguments against miracles all beg the question (e.g. are circular). Whether or not miracles have happened cannot be determined by philoosphy alone. That is a matter of history.
(Looks at tests for truth and falsity in history, arrives at a way of looking at historicity of evidence and verifiability).
The New Testament contains historical literature (eg. historiographical documents).
(Looks at historical claims of NT and the reliability of the gospels' claims, textual reliability, etc....no appeal is made to them as God's Word).
Concludes that NT is reliable historically.
On the basis of the historical reliability of the NT we can be sure we have the essence of Jesus' teachngs about Himself. In view of the reliability of the NT text (does historical analysis and textual analysis as such), and especially the gospel and 1 Cor. witness to the resurrection, we can conclude Jesus Christ is God, the God theism concludes must necessarily exist.
God is a God of perfect truth (see theism argument).
The NT also concludes miraculous claims. We can now answer objections to the miraculous. These objections say miraculous things are claimed in all religions, so no religion can appeal to them since these claims are mutually self-canceling.
Based on our conclusions about Jesus as a matter of historical record, we see this is not true. Based on the nature of the claims about Jesus, we must conclude that Christianity is true. We also conclude all other religions, which are self-canceling are false.
The consequence of this conclusion necessarily includes Jesus claim to divine authority. Whatever He taught comes to us as God's word, and God, by nature (see theism argument) can not tell a lie. He must, by nature, always be true.
(Quick summary before chapter 18The NT is historically reliable, accurately presents Christ and HIs claims including His claim that He is God incarnate, miracles, etc.; whaever Christ (Who is God) teaches is true; Christ taught the Old Testament is the written word of God and promised His disciples would write the NT; therefore, it is true on the confirmed divine authority of Jesus that the Bible is the written word of God. (Examines the claims, to be sure using all tests given so far).
Yes, the argument does include the NT, BUT it does NOT appeal to the NT as the Word of God in order to prove the Bible is the Word of God without first proving it is historically reliable using systematic consistency and tests for truth and falsity with regard to its historical truth claims. That is why the argument isn't circular.
Remember, circular arguments argue the premise to prove the premise. That is what Geisler avoids. He DOES appeal to biblical material, but he avoids any truth claims as the Word of God; he only appeals to the NT because that is where the historical claims are made. By going that route he avoids saying "The Bible is true, therefore it is God's Word," which does beg the question.
I really like that particular book. I use it all the time, sometimes just for "fun" reading. (Ok, that was like a total egghead statement, I know, but hey, guilty as charged ).
"Jesus loves me this I know;
For the Bible tells me so."
In short--by faith. (among other reasons)
Relationship with the Author.
What are the logically self-defeating premsises of atheism, or polythesim?
I'm pretty sure this is where you will get caught. How can you determine the NT is reliable historically? And if you determined it was "reliable" how would you then determine it was perfectly reliable so that you could say what Jesus says about himself is true, or even better
how do you prove this? You must somehow prove that everything in the Bible is perfectly reliable and then look at this passage. If you just show it is realible historically on other claims, critics can still say, well, they goofed it up here.
God has laid down the Truth in every man's Heart. He will when He calls you to Salvation reveil it to you. It is for you to accept or reject.
There is a good book out called (Case for Christ) it goes over the Historical and Scientific Evidence for Christ.
I have McDowell's "Evidence 1 & 2" and a few others. In the end though I think it all comes down to: The written Word declares the Living Word, the Living Word confirms the written Word.