This seems to be the question in our current “post-truth” world.
What are the facts? Can we really know them?
What do we mean by #fakenews or alternative facts these days?
How do we know if a particular story happened or not, and when we do come to a place of better clarity and understanding of a precise event, what do we do with this information? Not to discount one’s version of truth or another person’s perception of how things went down, but when trying to make sense of historical events, I keep hearing the question, “Why does it even matter?”
Our Denver Brew Theology community spent the past 2 weeks diving into the topic of the historicity and reliability of the Gospels. Dr. Craig Blomberg spoke to 50 pub theologians at Grandma’s House Brewery giving 12 historical reasons why people can trust the credibility of the sources we have: Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Later, we interviewed him on the Brew Theology Podcast (Stay tuned. It’s a good one.), and spent the following week remixing the topic for 2 hours at Platt Park Brewing Company. Craig has an amazing presentation filled with incredible research and thoroughness, which simply speaks to his own credibility as a wonderful New Testament scholar. Still, so many people are left with the question, “So what?”
Our Denver community consists of a variety of religious and nonreligious people across the theological and spiritual spectrum. Every single person seemed to overwhelmingly respect Dr. Blomberg’s research within the presentation. Yet, when it came down to the small-group table talk the question lingered, “Does it really matter whether or not the events recorded in the scriptures actually happened this way or not?” followed with, “Do the Jesus events have to be factually true in order for them to still be true in our midst?”
Can the life and teachings of Jesus still carry the same weight whether one believes those words historically happened just like the 1st Century writers mentioned or not?
Many of the people in the room – Christians and nonChristians – seemed to think that the words in the Gospels can still be highly influential and substantially meaningful regardless of the facts or “alterative facts” in these ancient stories…
What do you think?