Reasonable Doubt?

Resistance to Change

Many people simply will not accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter what reasoning and evidence you put before them. This ‘resistance to change’ or ‘resistance to accept’ not only refers to Christianity.

There will always be people who will not be convinced of the truth, despite clear evidence. How do you argue with them?

Here is an example from mathematics, although you do not need to be a mathematician to follow it.

The Straight Line

Can we prove that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points? Common sense tells us that this is indeed the case. However, even though it seems obvious to most of us, we cannot prove it. On the face of it, it may seem that a straight line is the shortest distance, but perhaps we have not tried hard enough to find an alternative. A discussion on this topic between ancient mathematical greats goes back to 500 BC and continues right into the 21st century.

Throughout history, there have been those who claimed to have proof. Different approaches were used to lay the matter at rest once and for all, including theorems of calculus of variation and Euclidean geometry. Pythagoras and other Greek philosophers and mathematicians joined the debate and attempted to produce convincing proof.

Throughout history there have been many attempts to proof the straight line theory

Solid arguments notwithstanding, there are those who disagree with all the proofs and the reasoning. Some say: “The definition of the length of a smooth curve segment as a limit of polygonal approximations easily implies the result. But that is not entirely satisfactory as an explanation.” Then there are those who claim that “We cannot define a line as the shortest distance between two points, because we are designing a projective universe, in which there is no such thing as distance”. Still others, on a lighter note, bring up the curvature of the earth. Do all straight lines bend? When we draw a line with a pencil or pen it will have weight, so it is affected by gravity and thus no longer straight, unless we compensate. Therefore, straight lines only exist in our imagination. The debate goes on.

Accept or Reject

So it is with Christianity. There are those who have accepted it as truth. Many, however, have not, despite ample evidence to support the Christ story. Are you someone who keeps their options open? Keep an open mind? Here is what C.S Lewis had to say about that in his book Mere Christianity:

“I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else He is a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

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