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      11-29-2007, 08:39 PM   #107
its ray den
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you have great points too.

so here's the thing. i don't believe everyone of faith uses God as a crutch to explain the unknown. perhaps it may have been done in the past, or it may be going on now with certain people. but let's not stereotype everyone of faith as ignorant or deluded.

i became a christian when i was in college, 1 year into my study as a comp sci major. if you know anything about engineering or comp sci, it's pretty heavy on physics (took 3 years of it between high school to college, and add on astrophysics to boot) and math. so first and foremost, i know much about the scientific process, logic, critical thinking.. and yet, i became a believer.

why? did i all of a sudden lose my mind? or was i brainwashed?

or could it be because there's really something there?

you mentioned critical thinking in regards to your HK analogy, and your examples are perfect because no science can ever justify a person's faith in God.

but first a disclaimer: i'm not trying to convince you of anything, just letting you what my thought process was when i was deciding whether i should believe in what the bible says or not.

so my biggest struggle was whether i could trust what the bible said about Jesus. i mean, if you ever read any 1 of the gospels, you would also admit it was a great story of love and redemption. but is it true?

let's take a look at the writers. what did they really have to gain from writing the gospels in the bible? when you think about it, NOTHING. they weren't out for money, or fame. in fact, being associated with Christ was a BAD thing. christians were being put in jail, beaten on the street and even killed for what they believe. all they had to do to escape the persecution was to recant, but they didn't. why? why would so many people risk such pain for a lie? especially the original followers who were with Jesus when he was alive and then crucified? could it be that Jesus was indeed resurrected on the third day? if not, where was the body? how could a body in a tomb with a giant boulder blocking it, with roman soldiers guarding, be taken away without anyone noticing?

another point that helped me to believe was this. no one would believe the person known as Jesus Christ didn't really exist. there are enough historical documents that tell about this man and what happened to Him. the best evidence would be the roman and jewish documents since they were anti-christian at the time. they obviously wouldn't corroborate everything in the bible 100% but it was safe for me to conclude the following

1. Jesus existed and live in the first century
2. He was a moral teacher of sorts that was able to perform miracles (or witchcraft, depending on who you ask)
3. Was crucified for blasphemy by pontius pilate

third point is this. people like to question the validity of the bible, saying that it was corrupted and sensationalized to become a legend rather than a historical account of Jesus. Christians believe that the original manuscripts that has made up the bible is the true, inerrant word of God. however, the copies and translations... not so much. but here's the thing: with so many ancient copies to compare, way more than any other undisputed ancient manuscript, we can verify that what we have right now isn't off by that much. if you have 20 copies of something, and they all say pretty much the same thing, can't we assume that the copies are good? basically, there are so many other ancient manuscripts that people accept as truth with much less to stand on than the bible. they have less copies, there was more time between the event and the documentation of the event. if we can accept these as valid manuscripts, why not the bible?

after all of this, and also a personal experience of God, i decided that God was real, and what the bible said about Jesus is true.