I used to follow two “deconversion” blogs, and still read one of them occasionally (the author once was a close friend of mine). The author of one blog still considers himself a Christian, but he rejects conservative doctrine in favor of a theology that embraces homosexuality and permits him to interpret Scripture through the grid of personal experience. The other believes she’s on the road to atheism, certain that her reasoning abilities demonstrate the Bible’s fallacies.
Both depend on themselves to determine truth.
Truth, however, relies on objective facts, not personal intuition. For that reason, I cling to the accounts of Christ’s resurrection, which people in the First Century could easily verify. If the disciples had merely fabricated the resurrection, their gospels wouldn’t have mentioned the sealed tomb and the Roman guard. Paul wouldn’t have mentioned the 500 men who saw Jesus after His resurrection. And, as cowardly as these guys were around the time of the crucifixion, it makes no sense to suppose that they would allow themselves to be martyred if they knew they were lying. The evidence for the resurrection quiets all doubt.
From the point of accepting the historical fact of the resurrection, I can then reason that Jesus obviously has to be Who He claimed to be–God Incarnate. Subsequently, all the other points of doctrine fall into place. Thus, my faith is partially founded on historical evidence, not on my self-contrived ideas, my experience or fluttery feelings I get when I think spiritual thoughts.Christianity has verifiable history behind it, and therefore is not dependent on subjectively.
That said, even the historical evidence for Christianity must take second place to the Word of God. Scripture provides the ultimate authority for our faith, as the apostle Peter makes clear even as he writes about having personally experienced the Transfiguration.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. ~~1 Peter 1:16-21 (ESV)
Notice, please, that verse 19 introduces the idea of the prophetic word of Scripture as having more authority than Peter’s own experience with the Lord. Although he walked in Christ’s “inner circle” for three years, he insisted that the recipients of his letter base their faith in Scripture.
If even Peter subordinates his personal experience to the testimony of God’s Word, who are we to presume that our human reasoning can sufficiently enable us to determine spiritual truth. Isn’t that actually quite arrogant? In reality, we absolutely must regard truth as something objective, unyielding to any manipulations that we might wish to impose on it. In humility, we can trust the Lord to reveal Himself to us through the Bible.
The “journeys” of the two bloggers I used to read (interesting that they both used the term “journey”) sadden me because they’ve both chosen to measure truth by themselves. Thankfully, God has grounded His truth, not in subjective human feelings, but in historical fact that lends itself to investigation. And even better, He has given us the certain testimony of Scripture, which is His very Word! I pray that these bloggers would set aside their self-worship long enough to examine the evidence and accept the truth.