The Bible:

A Relic or Reliable Revelation?

by Gary C. Burger, MDiv

(This is the eigth part of The Bible: A Relic or Reliable Revelation? I've broken the whole talk up into smaller sections, the rest of which can be found through the links on the Bible Section page. For online reading I recommend reading the shorter sections successively. To view the document with the whole talk in it Click Here. To view the rest of the parts of the talk Click Here. It does not contain numbered endnotes but you can find a list of references used at the end.)

The Nature of Faith and Proof

I'd like to digress a little bit and say a few helpful things about proof and faith. Until we stand before God in Heaven no one will ever be able to prove beyond any possibility of doubt that there is a God or that there isn't a God, that there are miracles or that there are no miracles, that Jesus rose from the dead or didn't rise from the dead or that the Bible is completely trustworthy or not. But that is not necessary anyway. The only way you can have 100% proof about something is by committing yourself to it, testing it and seeing if it is real. When you sat down on your chair today you didn't know beyond all doubt that it would hold you up. You couldn't know until you actually sat down. Now, you probably didn't even think about it consciously but subconsciously you looked at the chair and said, "I'm approaching this decision about sitting in this chair in an open-minded, unbiased fashion, after all my bottom and my ego are at stake. It has four legs, looks stable, and someone else was just sitting in it; therefore it will probably hold me up as well."

In other words, you examined the evidence with an open mind and decided you were entitled to believe it would hold you up. When you sat down and it held you up that is when you had 100% proof, not a moment before. And what about your faith? Is your faith holding the chair together? If you had less faith would the chair fall apart and you wind up on the floor? If you had more faith would that make the chair hold together longer? You can put your faith in faith but it is not your faith that is holding you up. The chair is holding you up. In other words, our faith is certainly important but not as important as the object of our faith. You could have a lot of faith in a broken chair that is missing a leg. But your faith won't hold you up if you sit in the chair. On the other hand, a small amount of faith in the right object will hold you up. This is why Jesus said, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you."

The skeptics' bias against God and miracles is like a chair missing a leg and they still put their faith in it. But when we put them to the test like we have today, their skepticism and conclusions don't hold them up. To put our faith in something that has been proven to not hold up under pressure is foolish. In contrast, when we look at the abundant evidence available to us we have every reason, every right to believe in God, Jesus' death on the cross, Jesus' resurrection and the trustworthiness of the Bible. It is the most sensible thing to do.

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