Thursday, June 03, 2021

Are you prepared to believe the evidence?










All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Believing the Evidence

J. Warner Wallace was an atheist for 35 years. He was passionate in his opposition to Christianity, and he enjoyed debating with his Christian friends. He became a Police Officer and eventually advanced to Detective. Along the way, he developed a healthy respect for the role of evidence in discerning truth. When he took time to be honest with himself, he had to admit that he never gave the case for Christianity a fair hearing. When he finally examined the evidence properly, he found it difficult to deny, especially if he hoped to retain his respect for the way evidence is utilised to determine truth. J. Warner found the evidence for Christianity to be convincing.
When he first examined the New Testament Gospel as an atheist, he was completely uninterested in their claims related to the Deity of Jesus. As a philosophical naturalist, he rejected the supernatural claims of these narratives, but as he read the accounts, as a detective, he became intrigued with features reminiscent of eyewitness accounts he had investigated. Could these ancient narratives be true eyewitness statements, and if so, could he evaluate them as he had evaluated hundreds of witness statements in the past? This became an obsession and it eventually led to his becoming a Christian and writing the book "Cold-Case Christianity”.

Believing (or trusting in) the person

Charles Blondin was a French tightrope walker and acrobat who toured the United States in the mid 19th Century. He was known for crossing the 1,100 ft Niagara Gorge on a tightrope strung from one side of the Niagara Falls to the other. On 30 June 1859 and a number of times afterwards he performed the great feat often with different theatrical variations - blindfolded, in a sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying his manager on his back, sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelette, or standing on a chair with only one of its legs balanced on the rope.

Huge crowds gathered to watch him walk out over the deadly Falls. The silent tension turned to cheers as they watched him walk out, turn and come back. He asked the crowd, “How many believe that I can walk to the other side and back while pushing a wheelbarrow?” To which they shouted, “We believe, we believe!” Delighted with their response he would challenge them by asking, “Who would like to get in?” The crowd would  fall silent with nobody being willing to take him up on his offer. 

Francis J Crosbie's  timeless hymn puts it this way

Only a step to Jesus!
Then why not take it now?
Come, and your sin confessing,
To Him, your Saviour, bow.

Only a step to Jesus!
Believe, and you shall live;
Lovingly now He’s waiting,
And ready to forgive.

Only a step, only a step,
Come, He waits for you;
Come, and your sin confessing,
You shall receive a blessing;
Do not reject the mercy
He freely offers you.

Trusting Christ is not simply accepting  the facts of the gospel message, there is a decision that involves ‘actually getting into the wheelbarrow’. So the challenge is for us is to ‘get into God's wheelbarrow’ by taking the first step of faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. 

Are you in the wheelbarrow yet? After all it only takes one step to take a loving God at His Word and be assured of eternal life.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved - the Bible, Acts 16:31

Written by Peter Francis for Messages with Meaning & Your542Day (27/05/21)

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