Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Cumulative Case for Christianity

Have you ever seen a TV show in which a criminal is being brought to trial, and the cops or prosecutors are lamenting over the fact that their case is entirely "circumstantial"?  Or maybe the defense attorney is confident in a victory because of that fact?  These (fictional) scenarios portray "circumstantial" evidence in a very negative light.  However, the fact of the matter is, if you have enough circumstantial evidence, then your case becomes nearly air-tight. 

The evidential case for Christianity is a very strong case because it is based a panoply of circumstantial evidence.  Each piece adds more weight to the Cumulative Case for Christianity.  Denial of any one piece of evidence is like trying to remove a single stone from a mighty fortress: you may think you have done something until you realize the fortress is built on a massive foundation.  Yet to deny enough of the evidence to try to shake the foundation requires such extreme (and unfounded) skepticism that such a position does not hold up well to criticism.

It is really impossible to list all of the evidences in favor of Christianity, and also those in opposition to naturalism, which I consider to be the zeitgeist and current "en vogue" challenger to Christianity, but here are a few important ones:
  1. The origin of the universe (sometimes called the Cosmological Argument: if the universe had a beginning, who is its Beginner?)
  2. The fine tuning of the universe  (sometimes call the Design Argument, or the Teleological Argument)
  3. The origin of life (a scientifically intractable problem)
  4. The Argument from Reason (how can we reason if Reason did not produce us?)
  5. The Moral Argument (we all recognize a moral law; who then is the moral Lawgiver?)
  6. Fulfilled prophecy in the bible
  7. The resurrection of Jesus Christ
  8. The occurrence of miracles

Each one of these, of course, has its counterarguments, but for each one the strength of the counterargument is that most would prefer a natural explanation to a supernatural one...even if the natural explanation is unsatisfactory, unsupported, and improbable (compared to the supernatural one).  But there are only so many times you can plausibly deny pieces of the Cumulative Case before you have gone off the deep end into a hyper-skepticism that you would never apply to any rational decision you would make in any other area of life.

The Cumulative Case for Christianity is incredibly strong, is only getting stronger, and is here to stay.  So hold on as we explore the depths of this Cumulative Case.  Or, as Morpheus (quoting Carrol) said, "I'll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."