Monday, April 25, 2016

Jesus is an evidentialist.

If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
John 10:37-38

When the leaders of the Jews confronted Jesus in their struggle to accept His claim to be God, Jesus asked them to match His claim to deity with the works that He did. His claim was preposterous unless His miracles were clearly the things that only God could do. And the miracles could become a back door of sorts to faith. Jesus said to evaluate His works, and then to look at His claims. He was inviting these people who repeatedly sought to kill Him, to stop in their tracks and reconsider not His claim, but His actions. This isn't confrontation as much as it is from Jesus an invitation. Jesus invited even His enemies to believe Him.

This would be a form of evidentialism, which is a defense of the gospel based on history, known present truth, and factual argumentation. By that I mean that Jesus asked people to believe based both on visible evidence of His divine power as well as His claims to be God. And that same line of reasoning is valid and true today. Christianity should be observed both by its works and its claims. Jesus truly lives in His followers. They demonstrate His love and power so that gospel truth can be both seen and known. Changed lives are a powerful, miraculous testimony to the truthfulness of Christian Faith and the transformation the gospel brings.

Contrary to prevailing cultural bias, truth is not relative. It is certain, propositional, and in the case of Christ's claims, verifiable in historical record. Jesus claimed that His actual deeds were undeniably divine in explanation. And His followers saw, and knew, this to be true. His disciples would die for this truth, so convinced were they of His deeds and claims. And they lived to proclaim His saving life. So should we.

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