I have been a Christian for three years and a half, so I believe in the
Bible. And I WANT to believe in the Bible. Couldn’t I change the truth to
please myself and to justify my faith? How can I be sure that I am
following the right way? I have read some apologetic books but the doubts
(or existential questions!) are still here. How can I solve this question?
Do you have a logical explanation for absolute truth?
You ask a good question. How can one really, ultimately, be sure that the
Bible is from God, that God exists at all, and that Christianity is the
truth. Your question is largely a philosophical one, rather than an
inquiry about facts. How sure do I have to be before I can consider such
an important question totally settled in my mind? How do I know I am not
faking myself out and just listening to one side of a question? I would
suggest reading an excellent book on the subject, which is True and
Reasonable, by Douglas Jacoby, PhD. In this book, he discusses some of the
theological and philosophical aspects of your questions. In addition to
referring you to this book, I will attempt to give you at least a partial
answer to your question.
My answer to this question is to ask the same question back to you. How
much proof do you need? Do you need every single possible corollary
question answered before you will be willing to accept that the evidence
is surely telling you that the Bible is inspired? What level of evidence
do you need before you get in your car and drive on the highway? Can you
prove, absolutely, that some crazy person might not drive into your path?
In order to not be completely be immobilized by doubt, at some point one
must step out on faith in what they know to be almost certainly true and
act on those things. After looking at evidence such as the messianic
prophecies, the historical accuracy of the Bible, the amazing agreement of
biblical statements with science, the overwhelming evidence for the
resurrection of Christ, and so forth, and so forth,… doubts seem to
become a rather lame excuse for not being willing to do what you know in
your heart and mind to do, which is to act on what faith you have in God
and in his Word–the Bible.
I believe the material available at this web site and in other materials,
such as those referred to in the books and the links section are
sufficient that, in the words of Romans 1:20 “men are without excuse” for
not believing in God and in the Bible. Indeed, Romans chapter one implies
that the only way to not believe in God is to purposefully suppress the
truth in order to believe the lie.
All that being said, the fact remains that faith is something which can be
increased. In other words, you should act, in faith, on what you believe
to be true about the Bible, but at the same time you should continue to
pursue answering those persistent and nagging questions which you still
have lingering in the back of your mind. Yours should be the attitude of
the father in Mark 9:24, when he said to Jesus, “I do believe; help me to
overcome my unbelief.” You will not overcome your unbelief by ignoring
difficult questions, but by facing them and finding answers. At the same
time, in the spirit of Philippians 3:15,16, you should be willing to act
on the faith in God which you already have, and not use some small doubts
as an excuse to not serve the living God with all your heart.
John Oakes, Ph.D.