In my last post, I spoke about Outreach Media’s attempt to try and justify the idea that the Bible is the best evidence for Jesus’ love for humanity, and that this love is the best proof for the existence of God. This poster has a simple image of Jesus on a piece of toast, and the URL WantBetterEvidence.org.
Well, me being a curious fellow I decided to go to that website and see what I could make of it.
I am greeted with the same Jesus-toast, which magically fades to reveal the message “IF YOU WANT BETTER EVIDENCE FOR GOD THAN A PIECE OF TOAST”. Well it doesn’t make sense by itself, so let’s scroll down a little shall we?
The site reads:
Here’s the logic of this site:
It’s not possible to prove God.
But then it’s not possible to prove that you aren’t dreaming. Actually, proofs are notoriously difficult. (
This site is not about proof,
it’s about evidence.
Okay well, here I am, hit me up with some evidence for the existence of God. Hoping I could find some actual evidence I delved further into this site, and what I found was not anything new or compelling, but a bunch of links out to sites by other people, such as an essay by William Lane Craig (and we all know what I think of his argument techniques), The Centre for Public Christianity, biblegateway.com, and they say they will be adding more links as more evidence is produced.
The website itself is made up of four pages; the homepage I talked about above, “Thinking About Evidence And Proof“, “Why is Jesus the Best Evidence for God?“, and “How can History be Evidence?“. Let’s look at each of these pages one by one.
The main passage on this page after the excerpt above reads:
There are those who believe that the best evidence for God can be found in various philosophical arguments for the existence of God. Others believe that experiencing miracles and signs in their life is the best evidence for God.
However, this site has been set up by Christians who believe that the best evidence of God is Jesus Christ. That’s because the Bible describes Jesus in this way. But ‘hang on’ you say, ‘Jesus lived 2000 years ago’. ‘How can we know God based on a man’s life recorded so long ago?’ If this is the kind of question that bothers you, then you’re in the right place.
So this site has been set up by people who are not interested in the philosophical arguments for or against the existence of God, only the “evidence” presented in the circular reasoning of the Bible, which states that it is the true word of God, says that Jesus’ love is proof that God is real, and that only through it can we know God or Jesus. I’m glad we got that sorted out, I guess I can throw away that huge stack of “literature” by my bed and just read one book. It makes it so much easier if I don’t have to think.
The thing is, this says it is offering evidence for the existence of God, but has already, on the first page, changed the question to “How can I know God?”
Let’s read further shall we?
This page sets out to define what we mean by “proof”. They prefer the word “evidence” because… well because their entire argument is that the Bible offers “evidence” of God through Jesus. But they can’t prove anything. But what is the definition of evidence?
noun, verb, -denced, -denc·ing. noun
1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign: His flushed look was visible evidence of his fever.
3. Law . data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.
So the Dictionary provides evidence that the word “evidence” means proof anyway. But this is just semantics, let’s go with their definition which means “an indication or sign”. From the site:
But you can only truly prove something when everyone agrees at the outset on the rules. This is workable in the abstract realm of mathematics but much more difficult when we consider God. In mathematics, conclusions are either right or wrong and follow directly from the rules that are agreed on. But even mathematicians have their disagreements over rules. With God, we need a great deal of humility. After all, we shouldn’t presume to even know all the rules, let alone determine them.
“Even mathematicians have their disagreements over rules” Well maybe they do, but when they work out what is wrong with a theory or proposition, alter it to better suit the apparent truth of the situation or they throw it away completely. This is how the scientific method works. And of course we can’t know all the rules, otherwise there would be no need for scientific discourse.
This is why the authors of this website prefer to speak of evidence. Has God given reasonable evidence of Himself that we can trust?
But… wait… Has God given evidence of himself? You first need to assume that God exists before you can ask if he has given evidence. The evidence I am after cannot come from God, because I can’t first assume he exists in order to give this evidence. It’s a badly phrased question. Unless God can testify directly as to his existence, then I can safely assume that ANY evidence brought up for the existence of God is made by a human who has already decided that God does exist.
Again, as mentioned elsewhere on this site, Jesus’s claim and the witness of the Bible writers is that he is just such evidence. It may not be the evidence we expect. But that doesn’t effect its truthfulness.
The evidence for God is that Jesus and the Bible claim he exists, and there is NO other evidence? No change to the truthfulness of the claim? Lucky this isn’t a court of law, or this “evidence” would be thrown away as hearsay.
I could probably take a guess as to what this section might say, but I’ll do this properly and see what it actually says, since we’re dealing with evidence here.
This page is pretty much the same spiel from the Outreach Media poster. I wasn’t convinced that Jesus was the best evidence for God by that poster, and reading it a second time, I’m even less convinced. It still strikes me as odd though, this statement:
Frankly, it’s not possible to prove God. But then it’s not possible to prove that you aren’t dreaming. Does that mean philosophical arguments are pointless? No, they’re not. In fact, Theism (belief in one God) is a very satisfactory explanation of the world.
What this means is “We actually have no evidence except what we have already presented, but I’m going to put it to you that you might just be dreaming this whole thing. Therefore, God is true.”
But the problem with the ‘arguments for God’ is that they don’t introduce you to the particular God who is there. You just end up arguing and discussing the possibility of God existing. Meanwhile the particular God who is there has already revealed himself.
The God who is there has sent his son, Jesus, into the world so that we can know him. God is a particular person and we meet him in Jesus.
So, the real issue is evidence. What is reasonable evidence? Is it reasonable to accept the Bible’s record of Jesus as evidence for God? That’s a decision you’ll need to make for yourself. But first of all you’ll need to read the Bible to find out about Jesus. It’s no good making your mind up before examining the evidence.
So we have it all wrong, we can’t argue about the existence of god if we have the wrong definition of God, it would seem. And again, it asks about evidence, asks if the Bible really is a reasonable proposition, and then says, “Meh, I don’t know, you’ll have to decide for yourself.”
Now we get to the meat of the sandwich.
We all use history as evidence of past goings on, and there is no doubt that some of the bible are historically accurate, but in this page I can truly see that this whole website is a desperate grasping at straws, giving a confused overview of the situation in the hopes to confuse the readers into thinking it makes sense. First it says the Bible is an historical document, then it say historians are biased. Then it says that we can’t possibly know everything about the biases and preconceptions of the people writing the bible, then it says we kinow a great deal about at least one of them.
Then it asks you to not just read it, but to read it the same way they do, as if it IS true, then make up your own mind. but the real purpose of this website becomes obvious when we read the last paragraph:
Finally, it’s worth noting that there are a great many well-respected historians who respect the integrity of the Bible authors. In fact, many are even Christian. Perhaps some Internet bloggers and commenters are braver than they ought to be when they heap ridicule and contempt on the Bible and anyone who takes it seriously. So often such sites are lacking in grace and fair mindedness and full of error and fallacious logic. That serious historians don’t interact in such places is usually a testimony to the pointlessness of the exercise. We encourage you to avoid such sites on the Internet and seek out sites where the evidence presented is well documented and the discussion respectful.
Oh dear, did I just get dissed for not knowing my stuff? I think I may have! Why I oughta!!!
So it would seem, the more we scrutinise the people who claim to have the best evidence for God, the more we realise that they actually have near nothing to go by, in fact, only the words of one book. This book says it’s true, and we have to believe it because it says it’s true. So we end up back where we started. Yes I want better evidence if you are going to claim that evidence will provide the truth of your claim.
EDIT: Dave The Happy Singer put up this brilliant parody site, iwantebetterevidence.org