Sufficient evidence

evidence-existence-godby Barry Newton

Holding a handcrafted, thick, rustic brown leather box from Paraguay sealed with its tightly fitting lid, I have announced to various adult and teenager classes, “This box contains a gold ring.”

Immediately the students are confronted with the question, “What evidence do you have for or against this claim?” Since no one can see inside the box, typically a moment of silence dominates.

Often a woman will be the first to say, “You are not wearing your wedding ring.” Turning so everyone can clearly see my hand, I agree, “Correct, I am not wearing my wedding band. Does this prove that there is a ring in the box?”

In unison they correctly respond, “No.” I press further, “Nevertheless, does this provide some evidence supporting the affirmation that there is a ring in the box?” Again they accurately respond, “Yes.”

Invariably someone will pipe in, “Another piece of evidence is your claim that there is a ring in the box. My experience is that you are trustworthy.”

People are now beginning to think and analyze the available evidence. Without exception, someone always asks for more. “Shake the box!”

With a broad smile I decline, while adding, “Sometimes we want a particular type of evidence, but it is not provided. You have sufficient evidence. If your life depended on getting this right, would you say that there is or is not a ring in the box?”

While they cannot see the ring, as they weigh all of the available evidence, the emerging consensus repeatedly is that the box contains a ring. Opening the box, I remove a gold ring demonstrating their well-founded faith.

In many ways this little experiment is somewhat similar to the evidence we possess for God. The profound engineering and fine-tuning within our universe from biology to the cosmos strongly indicates a Creator. We might beckon for evidence on our terms, “God, do this sign so I can see and know.” But our calls for God to jump through our hoops go unheeded.

From fulfilled prophecy to the strength of eyewitness testimony, from fields of science to the supporting manuscript evidence revealing the message has not been distorted, we have sufficient evidence to believe in the God we cannot see, the God who is there.

“For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NET).

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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