Many of us (creationists and evolutionists alike) often demand "proof" - or present "proof" - for our views; that proof, however, simply cannot exist. What we usually present is evidence. What do I mean?

Let's take this out of the Creation realm and put it more secularly. If you were to assert that there's no such thing as a million dollars, and then demand proof that there is, I would have only one option of proof: to take a physical stack of one million dollars, set it before you, and have you count it. Since I don't have one million dollars, I can't do that. What I can do, however, is offer evidence. I can point to the business leaders and celebrities, which are reported to be worth millions, and use them as evidence. I can print out the Profit and Loss statements of some of the multi-million dollar companies out there and present them as evidence. Do these things prove the existence of one million dollars? No, but they provide strong evidence. Unless we have the physical money in front of us, we cannot prove or disprove its existence.

Now let's move this into the Biblical realm. There has long been a debate about the accuracy of the Global Flood, with both sides continuously offering "proof." While I would love to "prove" the Global Flood, I cannot. What I can do is offer evidence. The existence of this particular myth all over the world indicates that a catastrophe of this sort is quite likely to have happened in the earth's past. It takes far more blind faith to believe that people groups in China, Egypt, the Middle East, India, and North and South America all independently made up a story of a Global Flood. What seems far more likely is that an actual Global Flood occurred, and as the re-developing cultures spread throughout the world, they carried their versions of the story with them. Does this prove the event? Not at all, but it is compelling evidence.

Someone who disregards this story may point to the fact that cultures develop around water sources, and would, therefore, have experienced local - but still catastrophic - flooding. This, however, does not disprove the Flood; it merely sugggests an alternative. I may then, to suggest that this alternative is wrong, point to cultures that thrived off of local flooding, but also had a Global Flood story (the Egyptians in the Nile Valley, for example). What does that prove? The only thing it proves is that they had stories. It suggests that they knew the difference between "Global Floods" and "local floods."

The point is that, as Creationists, we need to be aware that most of our "proof" really is just evidence. We also need to be aware that, for evolutionists, most of their proof is also just evidence. Is the Earth billions of years old? There is evidence to suggest that, but there is also reason to believe that old earth evidence is inaccurate. Without going back to the moment of earth's creation (or the beginning of its development), neither side can "prove" anything, we can only interpret the evidence we have.

What I am finding the more I read the Scriptures and the more I look at the external evidence, is that the evidence points to the Bible as the Word of God - inerrant, useful for encouragement, as well as rebuke. I trust the Scriptures, not blindly, but based on evidence. I believe based on its authority.

C.S. Lewis once wrote:

"Do not be scared by the word authority. Believing things on authority only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy. Ninety-nine percent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I have not seen it myself. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there must be such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so" (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book II, Chapter 5).

Lewis would have understood the million-dollar example. Lewis, I think, would have understood the Flood example, too. The question, then, is this: do we believe the claims of people who were not there and did not witness the event, but tell us that it never happened? Or do we believe the people who were there, and wrote about the event? Which, I would ask, is the stronger evidence?

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Comment by Charles Martin Jr on November 1, 2010 at 9:17am
Indeed, faith is the point. But faith should be based on evidence, as the KJV translation of Hebrews 11:1 puts it. I have faith every morning that my car will start up. This faith is not based on the fact that it has already started up this morning (proof). It is based on the evidence of prior starts every other morning. Our faith that Christ was the Son of God and died for our sins is not based on the proof of seeing Him rise again, but based on the evidence that others did, and that their testimony is reliable.

Non-spiritual matters, on the other hand, I can also take on faith - but never blind faith. For example, I did not witness D-Day, and therefore have no "proof" that it happened, but I can believe - on faith - the testimonies of those who were there. I did not see the atrocities of the Concentration Camps, but there is sufficient evidence to suggest that they were real, and they were as horrifying as we have been led to believe.

When we realize that most of what we do in life is based on faith, then it seems easier, in fact, to believe the Bible, because I'm merely applying life practices in the non-spiritual realm to the things of God.
Comment by Kelly Lee on November 1, 2010 at 8:21am
I am one of those people who need to see the "proof" most of the time someone tells me something. Even "evidence" will suffice at times. But when we are talking about God, Jesus Christ, etc. I operate on faith alone. Faith that the Bible is God's inerrant Word and what it says is the truth; faith that God always tells the truth.

That's a hard pill for some non-believers (and some believers) to swallow. I try not to get caught up in "proving" God exists and explaining to a non-believer's satisfaction "why" things are the way they are because it takes the focus off faith.

The KJV says: "Heb. 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." and the NASB says: "HEB 11:1 - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

Knowing the "evidences" of what the Bible says, however, and communicating them to non-believers in a respectful fashion is very important though.

As to holding non-believers and ourselves to a standard: Faith is the whole point in Christianity. We are ultimately asking non-believers to believe and act on something in faith, not because of proof or evidence. But when it comes to non-spiritual matters, I cannot trust on faith; I have to see the "proof" and/or "evidence" before I will "believe" what I'm being told.
Comment by Charles Martin Jr on November 1, 2010 at 6:25am
I've found myself over the years holding non-believers to a different system than to that which I hold myself. I often claimed to have "proof," but blasted them for only being able to use what I called "evidence."

Needless to say, I never got anywhere. The truth of the matter is, for many of these things, we can only go on evidence. While I believe the evidence for God is extremely strong, and I believe the evidence for the Gospels is even stronger, it's still just that . . . evidence. While I do have proof - Christ alive and well in me - to anyone who does not have Him, it's still just evidence.

If we're going to hold non-believers to a standard, we need to be willing to hold ourselves to that same standard.
Comment by Kelly Lee on October 31, 2010 at 8:45pm
Very interesting and well-thought out. Certainly gives me something to consider in many areas of my belief system.

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