I read a science article recently that showed with MRI studies that people with strong religious beliefs use the same parts of their brain that interpret reality. What I mean is that their religion is as real to them as the sky is blue to any other observer. Most people when confronted with esoterica tend to contemplate and hold a debate within their mind on the merits of whatever it is they are exploring. So a person looking at something as nebulous as faith will juggle and spin and contemplate, but won’t really hold it in their minds as irrifutible truth. But people of strong faith will hold unproven or illogical belief AS irrifutible truth. That’s why when a “Bible Believer” tries to argue something from the point of view of the Bible and you point out that the Bible isn’t proven fact.. their response is usually “Well the Bible says” in some kind of crazy circular logic. Debate just doesn’t compute with this type of mind.
We who believe DO see the Bible as generally, "irrefutable Truth." But Steve is mistaken to refer to our beliefs as "illogical" or beyond debate. I'll debate. There is rationale to my faith. Granted, not all believers have questioned or examined their faith, but grads of Christian colleges take at least one required course on "the case for Christianity" and may still read C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. This author of the Narnia series, Christian allegory for children, was an atheist and he explained his rationale for faith --his history of coming to faith --in a radio series on the BBC which became the book, Mere Christianity. I believe it is John Stott who also wrote a book we studied which was called "The Case for Christianity" on basic Christian beliefs and the rationale and history behind them. Today, there are many good Christian apologists who present a rationale for faith.
It is not unreasonable --when looking at a blue sky and marvelling that your eyes have the capacity to interpret colors and your spirit has the capacity to marvel and enjoy the sight --to conclude that somebody lovingly made our bodies --our eyes --and the colors for us to see. No accidents of evolution.
It is not unreasonable when contemplating the vast universe --and then our tiny earth with us tiny people on it --to conclude that there is a vast intelligence behind our existance --and to find it reasonable that this intelligence made --and would commune with-- humans --who are complex, creative, marvelous, intelligent beings.
It was not unreasonable for the disciples of Jesus to believe in Him enough to die for Him --after seeing Him and hearing Him AFTER the crucifixion --AFTER He had died --AFTER He was seen alive again!! Hallelujah!!!
Even the educated, brilliant persecutor of Christians named Saul, later St. Paul, believed in the resurrected Christ though He had not known Him in the flesh. He saw His miracles in his own life --Saul heard His VOICE identifying Himself as Jesus and was blinded by him for 3 days --and then became a foremost missionary of the Gospel. An irrational man? Hardly!
Yes, I'm using the Bible to reinforce my faith in Christ --because it is the Bible where the story is found. But there IS evidence beyond the book itself --it's found in the ongoing existance and good works of the Church of JEsus Christ which dates to the first disciples and the first century --and the presence of God we feel in our souls when we have truly repented and placed our trust in Him.
Yes, indeed, it HELPS to have such faith cultivated in our minds as children--but we have seen many adults --like St. Paul --become convinced and transformed as adults.
The changed life of a believer is a strong evidence to the presence of God in his life. Like my husband's grandfather who kicked a smoking habit in one day when he converted to Christianity as an adult.
Sometimes, the Holy Spirit touches you and you just can't deny the reality of the experience.
Jesus said, 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible