Posted on Sep 4, 2012 by Tom Gilson
“There’s absolutely no evidence for Christianity!” A Google search for that phrase returns almost 100,000 pages. Many (not all, but many) of them are categorical: there is no evidence for Christianity. (I’ve listed a few of these below.) It’s a sad commentary on our times that anyone could think that. Last night at Discussion Grounds I posted eight categories of evidences for the truth of Christianity:
- There is sound historical evidence supporting the most crucial claims of Christianity, having to do with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- There are sound philosophical reasons to believe in the necessary existence of the God of theism
- Theism proposes a God who can communicate successfully with humans on his own terms (he is not incapable of correcting errors!)
- Miracles happen in answer to prayer, frequently, still in the 21st century
- Non-theistic (especially materialistic) explanations for human experience are completely inadequate
- Materialistic protestations that science has disproved theism are entirely question-begging
- Other major rebuttals offered to Christian theism, including for example the problem of evil, are weakly supported and/or fail to overwhelm the positive evidence for Christianity
- Although not fully packaged with a bow around it, the Christian explanation for all of human experience is existentially and intellectually satisfying
All of these are answers to Phil’s question, how do we know we’re not being fooled? What error-correction methods does Christianity have at its service to protect believers from religious delusion?
Any one of these categories could fill several shelves worth of books.
I need to explain number 3 which isn’t really evidence for Christianity, but which was relevant in context of our debate. It is a reminder that theism could still be true, and could be known to be true, even if the only evidence for it were God’s revelation and confirmation in the mind and heart of each individual believer. But that’s an “even if” kind of statement. The fact is there are at least seven other categories of evidence supporting knowledge of the truth of Christianity.
A few representative pages claiming there really is no evidence for Christianity:
- Opposing Views
- Steven Carr
- Hector Avalos (at Debunking Christianity; Avalos is a religion professor at Iowa State University)
- Commenter at Atheist Underworld
- Commenter at exChristian.net
- Commenter at bigwhiteogre