Post Author: Bill Pratt
Only if the skeptic is open to the existence of a God who can intervene in the affairs of the world.
I have discussed the historical reliability of the New Testament with many skeptics over the years. The skeptics I typically speak to inevitably dismiss or downplay much of the historical evidence that I present. They argue that ancient writers didn’t understand the difference between history and myth, that mythical stories of gods were rampant in the ancient world, that ancients were credulous and unsophisticated, and so on.
As soon as I respond to one of these arguments, they have another one along the same line. It turns out, however, that the reason most of them don’t believe the Bible is historically reliable is because they don’t believe the miracles included in the Bible could possibly have occurred. They don’t believe the miracles could have occurred because they don’t believe a God exists who can perform miracles.
Obviously, if no God exists who can perform miracles, then miracles cannot occur!
On the contrary, those who are open to the God of Christianity existing often find the historical evidence to be quite impressive. Why? Because they believe that a God who can perform miracles might exist. They may not be totally convinced, but they don’t dismiss it out of hand.
My advice to any Christian who is discussing the historical reliability of the Bible with a skeptic is to pause and ask the skeptic if they believe in the real possibility of a God who can intervene miraculously in the world. If they don’t, you need to drop back and discuss that issue first. Otherwise, you may very well be wasting your time.