aboutiam




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faith and reason

THE FRAMEWORK FOR EVIDENCE

Evidence that enables us to believe in God must
be evaluated within a sound framework
.
A clear definition of "proof" is needed in that framework.


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1.    INTRODUCTION

Firstly I want to make it clear that real Christian faith is not based on wishful thinking. In fact, ‘blind faith’ is almost guaranteed to fail when it is eventually put to the test by a major life disaster (i.e. when it is most needed). As I have written in the article Believing in God, just like me, you should find sound evidence of Gods presence, on which to base your own faith and belief, if you know where to look. It is the aim of this website to provide you with guidance in that regard.

This article goes on to define what the terms proof” and genuine evidenceactually mean within this website.

2.    DEFINITION OF THE TERM "PROOF"

Let me firstly say what proof of Gods existence, does not mean on this website. It does not refer to proving in a scientific sense. Indeed God will never be proven to exist scientifically, because he prevents it.

Rather, when I do write the word “prove”, I mean meet the accepted standard we require to conclude that anything is real within our day-to-day lives. In essence, the average human being accepts things as believable when they locate evidence supporting the standard of “beyond reasonable doubt”, as far as they are concerned. It is thereby acknowledged by us at that point, through our power of reasoning, to be ‘real’.

Actually, belief in God can come to be virtually concrete for us individually! To say less than that would be a disservice to you.

3.    DEFINITION OF "GENUINE EVIDENCE"

And in the intro to How to believe in GodI used the term genuine evidence, when referring to proving Gods existence? What did I mean by that? Well, for someone of my professional background, definitions for demonstrating proof through evidence inevitably include words like valid, relevant” and sufficient”. (The whos, hows and whys of this website are presented on the home page.)

In simple words that would relate to a Christian, the evidence for building belief in God should fit the following framework. Firstly, it must be based on our own experiences (it is valid evidence). Secondly, It must  be compatible with the Bible (it is relevant evidence). Finally, we must find enough of it to satisfy ourselves (it is sufficient evidence).

Bear in mind that I do not mean that one must be an expert on the Bible to begin that search. (A brief explanation of Christianity is provided in the final section of this website.) But, however, it is true that evidence of Gods presence actually does become all the more obvious with the growth of our Biblically based knowledge of him.

So, for a Christian, true ‘belief’ in God ultimately comes from genuine evidence. And that evidence is gained through our own personal experiences, in our lives and in the Church during our journey of faith, then evaluated through the framework explained above.

Unfortunately, due to the personalised nature of our faith and belief it is unlikely that we can convince other people to accept them as we do. Everyone simply has to do it for themselves by embarking on their own journey of faith, gathering their own evidence as they proceed!