I have a friend, who is asking me scientific proof of the Bible. I wanted to know what resources could I point him to do his reading. Please send me links of articles or relevant books. Remember this guy comes from an Asian Indian background, is an engineer and is an atheist. So please be cognizant of that context.
@stanleysamuel11 If your friend is interested enough to read a book that really gets into the details, I would recommend F. F. Bruce’s ‘The Canon of Scripture’ or ‘The Resurrection of the Son of God’ by N. T. Wright. But it really depends on where your friend is at - if this question about the Bible is really something he is interested in or if he is just pushing back against your belief. There are four approaches that come to my mind:
- Talk about why the Biblical documents are reliable
- Point to the resurrection of Jesus as the key fact upon which Christianity hinges and the best place to start an investigation
- Point out that if you want to get to know someone, you don’t perform a scientific experiment on them - you hang out with them. The best way to get to know Jesus is start walking in relationship with Him.
- If he still does not believe in God, maybe suggest a book from Tim Keller on reasons for God.
Point (3) is very important. God is always telling us to ‘taste and see’ that He is good - that is a kind of experiment. But we must do so with an open and sincere heart.
May Jesus open your friend’s eyes / heart to His love and grace
Talks By Tim Keller
Hi, @stanleysamuel11! I am very intrigued by your friend’s interest, and I’m curious what would be considered an example of ‘scientific proof’ in his mind. I think that @SeanO’s point about performing an experiment on God and how God desires relationship more than intellectual assent is an important one to emphasise. Though, I think a lot depends on what this guy values…what kind of evidence he considers more authoritative - proof, even. I’m assuming the question below his question is ‘How can I know the Bible is reliable?’. Is that what you hear him asking?
Thanks Kathleen. I am myself not sure what he is asking. I anyway sent him some articles I had from seminary (Moody Theological) that I took classes on Systematic Theology, which talks on the canonicity, authority and authenticity of the Bible and also some chapters from Norman Geisler’s books. I am in conversation with him through whatsapp and I am answering his questions. I also forwarded some of Ravi’s videos and I am waiting for his positive or negative responses. He is in the mode of asking me what I believe and why. I posted this question here only to see if any of you had some additional material that I could use.
I have seen this question come up a lot. I think it is important for you to keep in mind that there is no scientific proof that God exists. I think that is the way God designed it. The author of Hebrews tells us in 11:6 “And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
If your friend is truly seeking proof then he is not an atheist. He is perhaps an agnostic. He may, in his heart, know God exists but his brain will not allow him to accept it without proof. You need to pray and discover which is the case. If he is not really in search of proof and does not believe in God I doubt you will be able to help him short of God giving you divine revelation and pouring out His grace. Which can happen.
On the other hand, there is also no scientific proof that God does not exist. If God had given us conclusive scientific proof of His existence than there would be no need for faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God.
The links and articles offered here are all good and will sow seeds in the hearts of those who take the time to read. However; the battle is won in the spirit, not the mind.
@stanleysamuel11 Whoa - you went to MTS??? No way! I did as well. Did you take hermeneutics with Dr. J or missiology with Pflederer? Great, great classes.
Hello, @tfloraditch. Yes, you make a great point. The battle is definitely won in the spirit, but I would add that we cannot separate the spirit from the mind, either. They are distinctive parts of us and yet interconnected. God made us in such a way that we are tripartite beings, and one part is not disconnected from the other. The mind and the spirit work together, so we also need to be careful not to swing to the other extreme, thinking we don’t need to treat the mind as an important piece of the process of someone seeking God or seeking answers in regard to God. I’m not saying that is what you are saying, but I thought I would contribute my thoughts on this since people can sometimes take things in these matters to extremes and end up thinking any kind of discussion with unbelievers is always futile.
7 posts were split to a new topic: What is the role of the Spirit and the role of the intellect in conversation?
I really love Reasons to Beleive with Hugh Ross. Follow him on youtube. He shows how Genesis and the Bible match verse by verse. That is if you are a Old Earth Creationist like myself. Otherwise Biologos with Francis Collins for Theistic Evolution
Also Reasons To Believe has a weekly youtube show called RTB 28:19. Subscribe to it and learn about different topics each week they go over. They have a entire team of scienctists who are believers.
3 posts were split to a new topic: What are some of the most convincing fulfilled prophecies in the Bible?
If you friend is interested as a starting point in the science angle from an atheistic point of view, rather than philosophy angle he might be interested in:
John Lennox has a short book just published very recently called ‘Can science explain everything?’, along with an introductory interview, and then a debate with Peter Atkins to spark his curiosity…
I remember one quote from Lennox (and this is from memory because I can’t find it in either of the videos so it’s my paraphrase of what he said):
We are wise to be skeptical about things, and to check them out from a distance. But you can’t stand at a distance and observe Jesus Christ, you have to take a step towards him. Once you take a step towards Him, you will find you are actually not just taking a blind leap of faith into the dark, but a step into a well lit room.
Science can only tell you what is, not what we ought to do. (you cannot get morals from science)
Interview @ Oxford
Debate with Peter Atkins (John Lennox shares the Gospel in the concluding comments)
This may not answer the question for scientific proof for the Bible, but it may help him see that it’s not possible to get morality from pure atheistic materialism.