Why Trust the Bible Over Other Sacred Texts?
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
When I engage humanists in online debates regarding topics such as creation vs. evolution, justice, morality, and so forth, most of them do not offer follow-up responses to my comments/rebuttals. Moreover, a large portion of them are not interested in respectful debate, but prefer to hurl an insult and move on. In the Evolution as “Science” Debate, humanists MR and RC are exceptions to the norm. For reference, I shared the entire conversation between me and MR in my previous three blog posts; as for RC, I shared the start of our dialogue in my “Fossils and Genetics: Evidence for Evolution?” post. RC followed up toward the end of the debate with a deep question, attempting to challenge the very foundation of my faith: why do I trust the Bible as opposed to some other religion’s sacred text?
RC’s comment was lengthy as he also posted a challenge to the geological implications of the Genesis flood. I wrote lengthy replies to both parts of his comment. For this post in which I share Part 9 of 10 of the Evolution as "Science" Debate transcript, I am specifically sharing the first part of RC’s comment, (numbered “63a” in the transcript), as I defer the latter part of his comment (numbered “63b”) to Part 10 of 10.
Immediately prior to RC’s comment, there were two short comments from two other humanists that I also responded to.
Note: transcript portions are in topical order for clarity, but the posts are numbered to maintain chronological integrity. By the time I share Part 10 of this blog post series, I will have shared the entire debate transcript.
Quick question, if the Ark did occur, wouldn't we have found fossils such as Kangaroos throughout the middle east and downwards?
Kevin??? Antibiotic resistant bacteria hardly existed in hospital settings 20 years ago. Today???? Huge problem...evolution proven. So that is check and mate... 🤔 😛 😂.
MM, why would we? Please explain the premise of your question. Also, can you try answering my original question in the thread?
TC, that is not an adequate example either. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is not caused by gain of brand-new genetic information, but by a loss of information. See my earlier comments in this thread for more information.
Kevin, sorry, this one got buried under other FB notifications, like an old fossil under rock strata (mmm, geology joke!)
I'm going to counter your arguments about the flood, the 'word of Genesis' and the commitment to the veracity of the Bible. Firstly, what evidence is there to suppose the Bible is true? You present the text as being an infallible and unchallengeable source, but what evidence is there to support that assertion; why do we not select some other religion's sacred text? Is any text that claims to be the word of god genuinely so? Why choose one over the others? The root of all this is that one must first assert that god is real to decide that "his word" is true, rather than just a book (or more accurately a collection of texts) written by people, to reflect their traditions and beliefs.
RC, good geology joke; it made me smile. I will respond to your comment in segments for clarity.
“Firstly, what evidence is there to suppose the Bible is true? You present the text as being an infallible and unchallengeable source, but what evidence is there to support that assertion…”
One key evidence is within the very question that you are asking. You are presupposing one of several preconditions of intelligibility (i.e. how can we *know* anything): absolute morality. By using the word “true,” in your question, you are presupposing a transcendent, immaterial concept of “truth” versus “lie,” or “right” vs. “wrong” which inherently presupposes absolute morality. Yet, in the evolutionary worldview, if truth vs. lie and right vs. wrong are nothing more than chemical reactions in the brain, and personal opinion, then truth vs. lie and right vs. wrong would be meaningless and arbitrary. You would be unable to rationally and logically call something “true” or “false” or “right” or “wrong” without an absolute standard. By presupposing absolute morality, you are forced to borrow a biblical principal, and yet, you are trying to argue against the Bible. The Bible accounts for absolute morality with the Absolute Authority who created the universe, (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1), owns the universe (Psalm 24:1), and sets the rules of right and wrong (Matthew 22:37-40). What would be the alternative? Specifically, how is it possible for your materialistic, evolutionary worldview to account for the transcendent, immaterial concept of absolute morality? Similarly, you used the word “infallible” which implies the concept of perfection. By what ultimate standard do you judge something to be infallible/perfect? This is also a biblical principle (Psalm 18:30, Proverbs 30:5) that relies upon absolute morality. Consequently, if someone tries to say “the Bible is not true,” then by using the word “true” that person is borrowing the biblical principal of absolute morality to claim that the Bible is not true. This is similar to using laws of logic in an attempt to make a logical argument against the existence of the laws of logic—it’s self-refuting.
“…why do we not select some other religion's sacred text? Is any text that claims to be the word of god genuinely so? Why choose one over the others? The root of all this is that one must first assert that god is real to decide that "his word" is true, rather than just a book (or more accurately a collection of texts) written by people, to reflect their traditions and beliefs.”
Other religions fail to satisfy the most basic preconditions of intelligibility such as the law of noncontradiction (2 Timothy 2:13), the uniformity of nature such as the existence of the laws of physics (Genesis 8:22, Jeremiah 33:25), and absolute morality (Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 22:37-40). Consider polytheistic religions as one example: which god would be the absolute authority to define absolute truth and morality? A polytheistic worldview is unable to account for absolute truth and morality without an absolute authority. Before we even consider the time-consuming task of tackling some of the monotheistic religions, let’s consider another philosophical concept: in order to judge which sacred text is the Word of God, we would need an ultimate standard to make that judgment. By what ultimate standard do we judge which sacred text is the ultimate standard? What sacred texts provide criteria for judging what words are from God and what words are not from God, and are also self-consistent with that criteria (Deuteronomy 18:21-22, 2 Peter 3:2)? More importantly for this conversation, what criteria and ultimate standard do you use to judge (within your worldview) that a sacred text is or is not (and I would assume you would say “is not” for all professed sacred texts) the Word of God?
Since Jesus is the Word (John 1:1), one other proof of the Bible’s truthfulness is the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus' resurrection proved that He is indeed God the Son.
"He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God."--Acts 1:3
I briefly touch on the topic of Jesus' resurrection in Part 10 of 10 of the debate transcript, to be shared in my next blog post. In Part 10 of 10 of the debate transcript, I share RC’s attempted refutation of the Genesis flood, as well as my rebuttal.