Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The absurdity of using historical method to validate my faith

A sermon by Kim Fabricius on the the resurrection and the problem of using historical method to determine its validity. A good quote:

As sure as (Easter!) eggs is eggs, the resurrection happened, but that it happened is disclosed – Jesus makes his presence known – and it can be known only in faith, which does not answer to historical method but is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

I need to hear these words because so often when I'm going through a phase of doubt, I resort to the historical arguments put forth by people like Strobel and McDowell to confirm in my heart that my faith is valid. It seems a stupid thing to do, because although my faith is grounded in the resurrection, it is not grounded in the work of historians.

When you're going through a periods of doubt (I'm assuming we all do...right?), how does your mind work to make you feel better about your belief in some peasant dying on a cross in a small middle eastern town 2000 years ago? Do you resort to Reason?


reuben// said...

Hey Geoff,

I didn't listen to the sermon, but just had a thought:

don't you think that the holy spirit discloses that the resurrection happened in more ways than demonstrating Christs presence?

Part of the disclosure surely happens in the realm of history - so absurd may be going a bit far?? and historians may therefore not be altogether useless...

geoffc said...

I definately don't think that historians are useless, but I think the problem occurs when it is the basis for my faith. When I say "Of course my Christian faith is valid, because how else could you explain the empty tomb" or something like that.

I think 'absurd' isn't going to far, but perhaps it could be better titled "The absurdity of primarily using historical method to validate my faith".

But thanks for your point. I ought to be more nuanced. Once again, historians are very helpful, I don't think they're useless.

geoffc said...

Also, the sermon is a transcript, so you don't have to waste any time downloading, if that makes "hearing" it any more attractive