Skeptics often ask, “Is there anything that could possibly cause you to give up your belief in Jesus Christ?”
It’s a good question and a complicated one.
The good part is this: As Popper explained, knowledge should be falsifiable in principle. If you hold a belief that can’t be falsified under any imaginable circumstances, your belief might be disconnected from reality. If it wasn’t true, how would you know it wasn’t true? If you can’t answer that question, then maybe you don’t really know that it is true.
The complicated part is this. Falsifiability isn’t a magic key that opens the door to all knowledge. The axioms of logic are true but they’re not falsifiable, because the process of falsification depends on their being true. You can’t falsify logic without using logic. Mathematical facts like 2+2=4 aren’t falsifiable in principle either, because they’re just true.
Similarly if Christianity is true, then falsifiability isn’t predicted as part of its truth claims. If God is real, then God is real universally and comprehensively, and his creation will reflect his reality to that same degree. So his reality could hardly rest on being able to find some condition that would render him unreal. That isn’t slippery thinking; it’s essential to Christianity’s conception of God.
If it’s true that God is God and Jesus Christ is his Son, born of a virgin, crucified and resurrected, then it’s comprehensively true. God is the God of all reality. He created and has his imprint on everything. That includes all possible evidences, and even all the material a person could draw from to imagine God’s non-existence. Skeptics imagine they can imagine a world without God, but they are deceived; they’re using the materials God gave them to imagine he doesn’t exist. If Christianity is true, it’s unfalsifiable in principle.
So falsifiability is complicated, when judging whether Christianity is true. But I have an answer to the question, “what would it take for me to give up my belief?” anyway.
It isn’t the answer I hear from a lot of other Christians: “I would give up my faith if someone showed me the bones of Jesus Christ, proving he never rose from the dead.” People who say that are probably sincere enough, but in actual practice it’s no better than a dodge. We all know that if someone showed us “the bones of Jesus Christ,” it would be easy to believe they were someone else’s bone’s instead.
No, for me the answer is this: I would give up my Christian belief if someone showed me a better explanation for reality. Christianity provides a better foundation than any other worldview for explaining at least 50 facts that need explaining.
I could add more, but I think you get the picture!
I’m not saying that Christianity is the sole explanation for any of the above, but that it contributes strongly and positively to explaining all of them. I’m also not saying that none of these is explainable on any other worldview, but only Christianity covers them all. Every other worldview I’ve encountered fails on several of them, if not most of them.
If someone offered me a better explanation for all these things, I’d consider that a good reason to reject Christianity. I doubt that’s possible. I don’t think God intended it to be possible.
Image Credit(s): CC00 Public Domain.
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