|a representation of Aslan from C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series. Photo Credit: alanbob41|
I recently began reading the blog of Leighton Taylor. We share a loose connection because his father was my pastor for a few years at the end of my collegiate career and during the first year or so of my marriage. He has recently rejected Christianity for Agnostic Atheism. In his most recent post “So what do you believe now? Are you an atheist?” he tries to explain concisely what he now believes. What struck me was this paragraph. Says Leighton,
As far as how to determine which evidence we should follow, I think the scientific method is the best way to learn about the facts of reality. Science is, however, limited to the physical universe by definition. That doesn’t mean that the supernatural doesn’t exist; merely that science is incapable of measuring or commenting on the supernatural. If I claim that an invisible, incorporeal, heatless, noiseless dragon is floating in this room, it would be impossible for science to verify that claim, because it would be non-physical and therefore extra- or super-natural. I guess I view competing religious claims as being analogous to different people claiming that different invisible, untouchable dragons exist in the same room. No one can prove that their dragon exists, but they’re all equally convinced that they are right and that the others are deceived. Since none of them have any good evidence, I remain unconvinced that any of them exist. I used to believe in one of these dragons, but now I see that people are just as convinced as I was that other dragons are real, and I realize that if it’s possible for others to be mistaken about their dragons, it’s possible for me to have been mistaken about mine. (emphasis mine)
So religion is comparable to claiming “that an invisible, incorporeal, heatless, noiseless dragon is floating in this room” without any proof that one actually does. Well we could compare orthodox, Trinitarian Christianity to the assortment of religious gibberish available today and see that there is a pile full of evidence that our dragon exists (or from here forward the Lion). However, we will skip over all the historical, textual, experiential evidence and focus in on one line of evidence which no other religion can claim. Let’s call this incarnational evidence.
In Leighton’s example this dragon is invisible yet we do not claim our Lion is invisible. We claim he came in human flesh born of a woman during the Roman empire. Lived as a boy. Grew into a man. Learned. Toiled. Struggled. Preached peace with God, repentance from sin, and a coming kingdom. And then was killed and rose again and was actually seen by well over 500 people (some of who documented this) and we actually have manuscripts within 50 years of this to back it up.
So you see. Our Lion is real. He’s got teeth, fur, and a mane. There’s a wound in his side. He bleeds like us. For good measure he’s got a roar that wakes the dead and the undeniable swagger of a king. Now you are welcome to contest the evidence but you cannot claim there is none; otherwise, you come off like those claiming the Holocaust wasn’t real when people are walking around with numbers branded into their flesh.