Archive for the ‘intellectual honesty’ Tag

The Journey   3 comments

Our inquiring band of scientifiic/philosophical researchers had a really scientific way of determining our journey. We threw questions in a bowl and asked a small child to draw them. We numbered them and decided to investigate them in that order. Because they had included me, I had a question in the pool and mine was drawn first.

“Is there sufficient evidence of Jesus’ historical existence?”

We found that there was. I used Josh McDowell”s Evidence That Demands a Verdict and other materials. David used a variety of sources. We presented our papers and Rick the researcher asked his wife, who was a history professor, to judge our sources and arguments. She ruled my sources to be more historicallly accurate. David had used John Dominic Crosson, Kenneth Davis, and members of the Jesus Seminar. Kate checked them for scholarship and use of primary sources. My research was more solid.

When we look at The historicity of Jesus almost all scholars agree that someone named Jesus lived and died in Jerusalem. They may argue with the miracles and the ressurrection, but the essential fact of Jesus’ existence  hasn’t been in question.

Twenty-five years is a long time. We research topics in order and we have three months to present our arguments. Sometimes we seek outside judging. One of the professors at the Geophysical Institute attends my church. Rick knows a lot of medical researchers. Bai and I both use the theologians we know. We’ve wandered widely in our inquiries, but we can always count on David to keep us circling around the topic of science and the metaphysical.

Over the years I’ve learned a lot of science and I’ve been called upon to defend my faith often. So has Bai. David and Rick have agreed that Bai is not distorting science. He convinced David that the presuppositions of paleontology are not as solid as he originally believed. The lack of transitional fossils (those that link species) bothers him. He now calls himself an agnostic because he admits atheism is a hard core stance that he can no longer validate.

“Atheism says there is no god and shuts the door there. It gave me permission to mock believers, but I’ve come to realize that believers can be rational and intelligent and view the same evidence and arrive at different conclusions. I don’t agree with the conclusions, but I’m not sure now if I am always right. Agnosticism is a more honest stance.”

Rick has become a Christian. As an agnostic he was always honest in not ruling out what he couldn’t see. His team’s would renown breakthrough in neurochemistry had been based on a leap of logic that worked out – someone who saw something the rest of the research world did not. He sees his decision to accept Christ was the logical progression of reasonable analysis of the evidence.

Bai is now a science teacher because the prejudices of the scientific world against scientists who are believers frustrated him to the point where he decided to stop fighting it. He loves his second career where he can teach students that a scientist’s greatest tool is a mind that questions authority – including scientific dogmas.

More later on our individual stories and some of our conclusions.


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