Thursday, March 8, 2018

Slain By The Evidence

     As part of my morning devotional reading, I like to work my way through different kinds of devotional material. One of the books I am reading at a very leisurely pace was written by David Limbaugh, the brother of the well-known talk show host Rush Limbaugh, and a practicing attorney. The book is interesting. The title is Jesus On Trial: A Lawyer Affirms The Truth Of The Gospel.
     I thought I might pass along an offering from this morning's helping:

Some particularly intelligent people use their God-given intellect to argue against the existence of their Maker. Two men in eighteenth­ century England set out to do just that. Lord Lyttelton and Gilbert West were lawyers and committed nonbelievers. One day one of them said to the other, "Christianity stands upon a very unstable foundation. There are only two things that actually support it: the alleged resurrection of Jesus Christ and the alleged conversion of Saul of Tarsus. If we can disprove those stories, which should be rather easy to do, Christianity will collapse like a house of cards." Gilbert West agreed to write a book on the "alleged resurrection of Jesus Christ and disprove it." Lord Lyttelton vowed, in turn, to write a book to refute Saul's conversion.
Sometime later they met again and one of them told the other, "I'm afraid I have a confession to make. I have been looking into the evidence for this story, and I have begun to think that maybe there is something to it after all." The other said, "The same thing has happened to me. But let's keep on investigating these stories and see where we come out." By the time they had completed their books they had become believers, and their tomes, West's The Resurrection of Jesus Christ and Lyttelton's The Conversion of St. Paul, reflected their newfound, evidence-based beliefs.
Sometimes when we are certain we are on our own, completely independent, utterly self-sufficient, and without need of a savior, God actively intervenes with a gracious and timely lesson in humility. We sometimes fail to appreciate that our God is an infinitely loving God, Who pursues us not for His benefit, but for ours. Whether off the coast of Thailand with Vietcong sailors, on the road to Egypt with treacherous brothers, or wandering in the wilderness just outside the Promised Land, God can find us.