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February 28, 2014

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"But my present “belief in” would not have been nearly as robust and animated if not for the evidential confidence I gained from my initial investigation.

Perhaps, but the former doesn't always necessarily result in the latter, and it is certainly possible to have the latter without the former. Many examples in Scripture and throughout history of folks who had an even more robust and animated "belief in" that would put any of to shame without them having gone through your process of "belief that" first.

Yes, just to add to Z's insightful comment, mine was like that. It was not really a blind leap into Christianity - I knew I was messed up after all. But, my "belief that" was VERY minimal. As I began to study the Bible and Christian apologetics after my conversion, I was absolutely stunned about not only how the Good Book described my former life to a T, but how it even described the process of my conversion and what was happening since then! And it explained to me why the things I was seeing that were good or bad, as my eyes were being opened, were indeed so. The Bible and apologetics grounded my faith.

There were many who saw the miracles and heard the teaching of Christ, yet they misconstrued everything and failed to trust in Him. It seems hardly plausible that we can, 2000 years later, scrutinize Scripture and then decide if it's worth believing or not, much less save ourselves if we choose to believe it.

Faith is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. When God turns it on, we have the assurance that we are saved, and if He doesn't, we don't. We can try to turn the Gospel into a Sacrament and cling to our belief as the condition for salvation. But this is far different than clinging to Christ's substitutionary work on the cross as our only grounds of acceptance with God.

If He turns on our faith, Scripture, proven valid or not, speaks to us.

My toddler used to think that trees generated the wind when they moved their branches and leaves around. Trying to reason ourselves or anyone else into the faith is essentially doing the same. It's an attempt to turn the effect into the cause.

My toddler used to think that trees generated the wind when they moved their branches and leaves around.
Great story. Reminds me of John Irving's young character who worried the Under Toad would sweep him out into the ocean.
Trying to reason ourselves or anyone else into the faith is essentially doing the same. It's an attempt to turn the effect into the cause.
But, how do you know that, dave?

Maybe you're the toddler in this story.

Maybe we're all toddlers sometimes.

@ RonH.

I'm a toddler in Christ, yes, but remember Mt 18:3 "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." All of the historical bolstering of the Gospel in order to believe it, can easily dissipate with the next hoax claim.

How do you know this, dave?

Trying to reason ourselves or anyone else into the faith is essentially doing the same. It's an attempt to turn the effect into the cause.

@ RonH,

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

( spiritually discerned = Not reasoned into)

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

(V 13 = Regeneration precedes faith and is not conditioned on our will, or intellectual choices.)

I love his testimony! Because of his experience as a cold case detective, he's able to explain and demonstrate what evidence is and is not, in a way that I've found unique among apologists.

That, and the fact that he has had a more real and immediate experience of true evil than most people will ever have. In his work as a police officer/detective, he's had to witness the very depths of mankind's sinfulness.

There has to be an explanation and answer and remedy for that problem of sin. Christ alone offers it!

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