In the philosophy of science, one of the big questions is what criteria are used to distinguish the scientific from the non-scientific. One prominent view, often attributed to Karl Popper, is that falsifiability is the key characteristic of scientific claims. I’m not going to explore that the topic directly here. My interest is not in labeling particular claims as “scientific” or “non-scientific” in a technical sense, but in exploring in more general terms the perceived conflicts between reason and faith in the search for truth.
I often hear non-believers (and many believers too) speak of statements of faith as if they are completely divorced from or immune from the process of reason or the consideration of evidence. From this perspective, Continue reading “Is Christianity falsifiable?”
C.S. Lewis gives a good answer to essentially this question in God In The Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics.
I can’t say for certain which bits came into Christianity from earlier religions. An enormous amount did. I should find it hard to believe Christianity if that were not so. I couldn’t believe that nine hundred and ninety-nine religions were completely false and the remaining one true. In reality, Christianity is primarily the fulfillment of the Jewish religion, but also the fulfillment of what was vaguely hinted in all the religions at their best. What was vaguely seen in them all comes into focus in Christianity – just as God Himself comes into focus by becoming a Man.
One observation often made is that Continue reading “Didn’t Christianity just copy from earlier religions?”
No. It is different in some very important respects, all of which point to it being true. Here are a few points to consider.
1) Christianity is one of only a few candidates that has stood the test of time. The vast majority of religious movements die out quickly or never reach any kind of critical mass. If God has a true message at all for the world to hear, wouldn’t one expect it to have survived in one of the major religions? If not, each of us has little hope in finding it anyways, so it makes sense to focus on the major candidates. There are four great world religions to which over 1% of the world’s population belongs: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. I will also discuss Judaism since many readers are familiar with it. These five cover about 75% of the world’s population. Continue reading “Isn’t Christianity just like all the other man-made religions?”