Christianity And Superstition

The rise of rationalism and empiricism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a result of an abhorrence of "superstition." The magical, the mystical, and the miraculous were all categorized as superstition, and the scientific method was born, according to which only that which is observable should be believed as trustworthy. Only an experiment which was repeatable was considered valid in the determination of truth.

It became standard procedure to apply Ockham's razor to the question of the existence of God. William of Ockham (d. 1349?) believed in God, but people were beginning to apply his principles in such a way as to exclude theism as a philosophical option. According to the principle known as Ockham's razor, assumptions introduced to explain something must not be multiplied beyond necessity. Increasingly, philosophy began to feel that to assume the existence of God was unnecessary in explaining the world in which we live.

Is God an unnecessary hypothesis? Can the phenomena of our world be adequately explained without assuming God's existence?

There are certain things that cannot be explained if we assume that God does not exist. First of all, the existence of the universe itself and all that is within it becomes very problematic if there was no Creator. Secondly, the order that exists within the universe is really inexplicable without the existence of one who ordered it. Moreover, the origin of life becomes extremely problematic without a Creator, especially since the spontaneous generation of life is considered an impossibility among scientists.

Other things that cannot be explained apart from Christian theism are the resurrection of Christ, the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, and the existence of a body of literature, which, when subjected to close examination, appears to have been inspired by Him.

In view of the evidence for these things, it would take more faith to believe that there is no God than to believe that He is responsible for these things.

Medieval superstition may strain our credulity, but Christianity as it is presented in the Scriptures is not of the same class. The miracles described within the Bible are not fantastic stories. Rather, they fit within the context of history to such an extent that it would strain our credulity not to believe them.

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