Appealing to Evidence
“I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.”
Evidence speaks for itself, we are told. But, that is not the case. The one thing that evidence cannot do is to speak for itself.
In detective movies, a crucial piece of evidence is used to prove someone’s guilt, only to find, later, that the evidence had not been interpreted correctly. The evangelist E.Z. Zwayne tells a story about a man who was taken into a room by masked figures who strapped him to a bed, slit his chest open, and removed his heart. Outside the room were lots of people watching, who did nothing to interfere. E.Z. paused when he related the tale, then explained that the man was suffering from a heart problem, the masked people were surgeons, their blades were scalpels, and no one did anything to interfere because the students watching knew that these brilliant surgeons were saving this man’s life. In this tale, you were presented with a number of pieces of evidence, but you probably interpreted them wrong until you were given the back-story; the starting point; what we call the presupposition.
You see, the evidence does not speak for itself. It makes sense only when interpreted by our presupposition. But many people are not aware that they have presuppositions; still less are they aware that their presuppositions may be wrong.
The popular challenge from atheists to Christians is this: Why should I believe something that can’t be proved? But the very question is flawed because it assumes that there is a neutrality upon which to build our case. There is not. Our presupposition must at all times be the truth of God’s word.
Prayer: We do indeed delight in Your commandments, Lord because it is Your word which is the foundation for everything we believe, everything we know, and everything we do. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Taylor, P.F. (2016), Only Believe, (Castle Rock, WA: Just Six Days Publications), p. 45. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.