Evidence and Testimony
Posted on March 16, 2017 by Graeme Wilson in Victory Call
The other day, I was sitting at home and saw a book on my bookshelf that I had bought, read a bit, and put to the side. It’s called “God’s Not Dead” by Rice Broocks. Interestingly enough, this isn’t just a transcript of the movie written into a novel. Rather, it is a book about the evidence behind the movie. It was, in part, written for believers who struggle when someone challenges them about their faith. There was one quote in this book that really caught my eye. It states:
“People of faith cannot afford to be passive and disengaged. Many fall into the trap of thinking, ‘Maybe if we are nice enough, they will know we are true believers and God is real.’ After all, doesn’t the Bible say to ‘preach the gospel and if necessary use words?’ Well, no, it doesn’t. That phrase is usually attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, but it is doubtful that he ever said it. While we must certainly treat those who express hostility toward God with dignity, we must also be prepared to speak the truth boldly. No one said it would be easy. Even the great evangelist and apostle of the early church Saul of Tarsus asked people to pray for him so he could ‘speak boldly as I ought to speak’ (Ephesians 6:20). We must, at least, be as bold in our witness for Christ as skeptics are in their attacks against the faith.” – Rice Broocks
1 Peter 3:15 states: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
So today’s Victory Call begs the question: Do we fall into the trap of thinking “Maybe if we are nice enough, they will know we are true believers and God is real,” or are we relentless in our evangelistic pursuits? I’m not saying that our kindness won’t reap results – In John 13:35, Jesus tells us that the world will know we are His disciples “by our love.” But I feel like sometimes Christians are not always prepared to give a reason for the hope that we have, which can weaken our credibility because we will come across as passive and disengaged. So many people who attack the faith come prepared with what they believe is evidence disproving the existence of God. Believers are able to discern, of course, what the lies are and what truth is, because if we know our Bible, we are able to recognize a lie when it is before us. What if we were able to, in turn, present our own evidence for the historicity of biblical text (in addition to our personal testimony, of course, which is the most powerful assertion we can give to unbelievers about the goodness of God?) And how much more would that knowledge strengthen our own faith?
Are we prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope we have? There is so much evidence, such as the fact that the Bible was written over a period of about 2,000 years by 40 different authors from three different continents, who wrote in three different languages, and yet there are no inconsistencies or contradictions in the Bible (Answers in Genesis). That is something most of us probably know, but there is so much more to be learned. Don’t get me wrong – personal testimony is the most meaningful and strongest piece of evidence that can be provided. As we strive to make disciples, it is our most powerful tool. But we should never stop being a student. Learning about the evidence around us that continuously proves that our faith is fact is so… amazing, and it will not only help us as we share the gospel, but will also strengthen our own faith as well.
Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!