Is there really evidence to prove the claims of Christianity? J. Warner Wallace says that we often fall into the trap of relying too heavily on the experience of faith when there is a plethora of evidence to back up what we believe.
He says we can have an experience, but our experience is essentially worthless if not backed up by evidential truth.
“Experience can lead you to truth, but it can also lead you to error. Whereas an evidential approach will do far more to protect you from error.”
James says that leaning too heavily on the experiential side of faith cannot be our only foundation because experience is inconsistent.
“What’s the first thing people want to hear me say? They call me and say, will you come speak to our congregation and give us your testimony? I can do that, but to be honest I would rather give the case for why Christianity is true because my testimony is secondary to whether or not Christianity is true. We have been so conditioned as a Christian culture to want to lean heavily on experience. I had this experience and you can have it too.”
While James says experience is a valid form of evidence, it can’t be the only evidence, because if experience is the only evidence we have, we are just like every other religion.
“Remember, every single theistic worldview takes that approach. Every believer of every kind of religious worldview can give you their personal testimony, but this doesn’t make those worldviews true.”
James says we have to make sure that our testimony isn’t our only tool by which we defend what we believe. He says this is especially important when it comes to passing our faith on to the next generation.
“If we simply tell our kids it’s true, because I had this experience and maybe someday you’ll have this experience too, you should be praying and asking God for that kind of confirmation. Well, my Mormon family can also say that. We as parents need to have a better answer than that.”
J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case homicide detective, popular national speaker and best-selling author. He continues to consult on cold-case investigations while serving as an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University and as a faculty member at Summit Ministries.
Key Scripture: John 10:25
Featured Songs: The One True God – Steven Curtis Chapman; Bulletproof Citizen Way; More Than Conquerors – Steven Curtis Chapman