In my recent wanderings through the blogosphere
I have been reminded of Jesus' question at the end of the parable of the persistent
widow: "...when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:18). I have noticed a near-refusal to allow faith to be part of what it means to be a Christian...even on many blogs/posts/responses that were written by someone claiming to be a Christian.
I have seen this most often in people (professing Christians and non-Christians) questioning whether the Bible is truly God's Word (as opposed to the Quran, Eastern religions, or, most often, what they happen to think "feels right" or "sounds fair"). And of course, as long as this is in question, people just treat the Bible like a buffet.
Let's see...I think I'll take God's love, but none of that "Holy and just" stuff for me...I'll have Jesus' friendship with sinners, but hold the claims of deity or of being the only way to the Father...and while I'm at it why don't I throw in some karma and reincarnation from the Eastern Religion side of the buffet.
People do not want to accept anything as truth (if they believe that there is such a thing) unless they can "be 100% sure," and by this they generally mean "have undeniable empirical evidence." Can we produce incontrovertible empirical evidence that 100% proves the existence of God, the Bible as His perfect revelation of Himself and His will, or that salvation from sin and to heaven is necessary and is only through faith in Jesus Christ? NO! And I think that any Christians who claim we can are doing a disservice to God and His Word.
There certainly is evidence for the existence of God, the absolute truthfulness of the Bible, and thus the truth of the Gospel and all other teachings of Scripture. We can argue that the presence of design in the universe supports the existence of God the Creator. You wouldn't ever assume a Swiss watch came about by accident...why would you assume that something as complex as a human being came about without a designer?
We can argue that the fact that people have a sense of right and wrong (even though it is often warped) supports the existence of God who is Holy.
We can argue that prophecies fulfilled in detail hundreds of years after they were written support the Bible as being of divine origin.
We can argue that archaeological discoveries such as the Hittite culture, King Belshazzar, and Nebo-Sarsekim support the historical accuracy of the Bible.
Good arguments? Sure, but people are always going to be able to posit alternative interpretations of the data. There comes a point where you have to accept the existence of God, the Bible as God's revelation to mankind, and the claims of Christ on FAITH.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for... And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. – Hebrews 11:1–2, 6
Not a popular thought in our materialistic, scientific, pluralistic culture! So is it possible to "be 100% sure"? You bet, but "proof" is only going to take you so far... after that you have to choose to trust God or not!